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ICYMI: USA Today, “Trump Administration Restrictions on Asylum are Cruel”

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Yesterday, USA Today published an op-ed from DHS Watch Director Ur Jaddou. The piece criticizes the controversial policies adopted by the Trump administration at the border that are resulting in families being separated and refugees being turned away.

As Jaddou notes, “The Trump administration, notably Attorney General Jeff Sessions, is implementing a morally bankrupt and unprecedented series of border and immigration policy changes that are resulting in the cruel separation of families, the end of long-established legal avenues for people seeking protection from persecution, and the tarnishing of America’s tradition as a beacon of hope for the oppressed around the world. These cruel policies are designed explicitly to strike fear in the vulnerable and are being implemented with little planning and in violation of international obligations.”

Read the entire op-ed, “Trump administration restrictions on asylum are cruel,” online here or excerpted below:  

It shocks the conscience to know that children are being ripped from parents’ arms only to be further traumatized in unsuitable and unsafe detention facilities. A detention facility is no place for a child.

Meanwhile, Sessions single-handedly has reinterpreted established principles in asylum law to close the door on large numbers of people seeking protection from violence — without following appropriate legal mechanisms and precedent. For example, in a footnote of a recent decision that closes asylum claims for most refugees seeking protection from domestic and gang violence, he attempts to close the door to asylum before a refugee even has a chance to explain. In another footnote, he seeks to substantially increase the standard to prove an asylum claim, making it even more difficult for people with legitimate asylum claims, especially since so many do not have lawyers.

This entire crisis will get worse — with more and more children held in holding cells beyond the legal limit and exposed to abuse. Pediatricians corroborate serious and lasting consequences to foster children, including infants and toddlers.

When children are being harmed by cruel and barbaric policy, it is incumbent on Congress to immediately act. Instead, Republicans in Congress have failed to hold this administration accountable and are now touting a bill that ends protection for refugees, does nothing to prohibit this cruel policy, and decreases standards for already horrific detention conditions.