The Trump administration is reportedly considering barring anyone who transits through a third country from seeking asylum at the US southern border. Such a policy would effectively block anyone other than Mexicans and Canadians from seeking asylum in the United States. In response, Charanya Krishnaswami, Advocacy Director for the Americas at Amnesty International USA, made the following statement:
“Seeking asylum is a human right, full stop. This latest policy is a disgusting example of the lengths the Trump administration will go to deny people protection. Instead of taking sensible steps to fix this crisis of their own making, they choose to further their agenda of hate and fear against mothers, fathers, children, and anyone else who has been forced to flee their homes and who have no other way to seek safety. To effectively close the border to Central Americans and the vast majority of people seeking asylum not only violates human rights obligations, but is also fundamentally cruel.”
Amnesty International has made several missions to the border to document firsthand the human costs of the many barriers already in place against asylum-seekers. These include the practice of “metering,” which illegally keeps asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico for their turn to apply for asylum at ports-of-entry; and the dangerous “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forcibly returns them to harm’s way in Mexico while they fight for their right to seek asylum in the United States. Amnesty International has called for these harmful policies to end immediately.