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Brief #44—Immigration

Policy Summary
On June 11, 2018, the Trump administration flexed its executive muscles adding another brick to its wall of immigration policy. Attorney General Jeff Sessions stated that individuals escaping domestic abuse and/or gang violence alone will no longer qualify for asylum in the United States. That includes individuals seeking United States protection from systemic murder, rape, slavery, and human rights violations. According to Sessions, the home country’s government must, in addition to being unable or unwilling to help, have condoned the private actions or demonstrated an inability to protect the claimant. As discussed later, these are murky waters perfect for manipulation by bottom feeders like the Trump Administration.

Under U.S. immigration law, asylum is granted to someone at the U.S. border or within the U.S. who meets the definition of a refugee. “Refugee” is defined by the Refugee Act of 1980 and the U.N. 1967 Protocol. Like many important laws, it is vague; and, in the U.S. it is at the interpretation of the Executive Branch. Immigration courts are under the control of the Justice Department. The Justice Department is under the control of the Executive Branch, which is under the control of the President . . . and that is President Trump. So it goes.

Absent the moral dilemmas at play, there are two matters that draw particular attention: action and theory. First, Sessions took action by overruling a 2014 Board of Immigration Appeals decision, threatening the same for future rulings, that provided refugee status to Central American women whom, with caveats, were unable to escape their abusive partners. Considering the epidemic of domestic violence in Central America (evidently acknowledged by previous immigration judges), it does not make sense how the United States is playing its humanitarian, global role in providing sufficient care to those in need. The United Nations has openly shared that many Trump immigration policies are in clear violation of international law.

Secondly, can you imagine a circumstance where the Trump administration would conclude that a country demonstrated an inability to protect a claimant from domestic abuse or gang violence? If a country has a law that states, “domestic violence is prohibited” would that be sufficient? It’s legal protection, right? The line can be drawn at the whim of Attorney General Sessions, as seen by his overruling of the 2014 decision. The intent here seems to completely lack any consideration (and obviously compassion) for the human rights of those sharing our international society. Inhumane purity creates pure inhumanity.

Trump was right. Yet, like everything nowadays, we can diagnose it as vague correctness. President Trump campaigned that he would build a wall and those south of the border would pay. He is building a wall, albeit through immigration policy. And, the Latin Americans are in fact paying, but with basic human rights instead of currency – what else can “animals”[1] exchange?

Resistance Resources

This Brief was developed by USRESIST NEWS Analyst J.R. Phillip: Contact Justin@usresistnews.org

[1] Quoting President Trump’s reference to some illegal immigrants at May 16, 2018 roundtable discussion in California.

Photo by: Nitish Meena

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