Wednesday, July 31, 2019
Susan Martin, former ED U.S. Commision on Immigration Reform and Georgetown Law professor emerita, writes about the Remain in Mexico program and challenges for Center for Migration Studies:
On July 16, the Trump Administration issued a new rule that would significantly reduce the number of persons granted asylum in the United States. It bars consideration of asylum applications from those who transit through countries (other than their own) before attempting to cross the US southern border. In announcing the new policy, Attorney General William Barr noted: “The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of aliens along the southern border.” The ineptitude of the administration in managing the asylum system has created this crisis, however, not the asylum process itself. This administration has unilaterally made draconian changes in policy without consultation with those within its own bureaucracy who are most responsible for adjudicating asylum decisions. It has also neglected to approach those who represent asylum seekers to explore potential solutions to a problem that has challenged other administrations. Indeed, the Trump administration has done just the opposite, ending or significantly reducing promising programs put in place by his predecessors, such as those that create conditions that allow safe return, make investments in migrant-sending communities, set up refugee screening and resettlement possibilities in home countries, and open regular channels of legal immigration. Its only solutions have been interception, border enforcement and deterrence.