Trump Moves to End Asylum Protections for Central Americans
WASHINGTON (AP) — El gobierno estadounidense inició gestiones el lunes para no aceptar más solicitudes de asilo de migrantes centroamericanos que llegan a la frontera, en una escalada importante de la batalla del presidente Donald Trump para frenar la cantidad de personas que cruzan la frontera entre Estados Unidos y México.
Según la nueva norma publicada en el Registro Federal, los solicitantes que pasan primero por otro país no podrán pedir asilo en la frontera sur estadounidense.
La norma, que deberá entrar en vigencia el martes, se aplica incluso a niños que hayan cruzado la frontera solos.
Hay algunas excepciones: si alguien ha sido objeto de trata, si el país que atravesó el migrante no firmó uno de los tratados internacionales importantes que rigen la gestión de los refugiados (aunque la mayoría de los países occidentales los han firmado) o si un solicitante de asilo buscó protección en un país, pero se le negó, entonces dicha persona todavía podría solicitar asilo en Estados Unidos.
Pero la decisión del gobierno del presidente Trump está destinada principalmente a poner fin a las protecciones de asilo, como sucede ya en la frontera sur.
Es casi seguro que la política será apelada en tribunales. La ley estadounidense permite a los refugiados solicitar asilo cuando llegan al país, independientemente de cómo lo hayan hecho, pero existe una excepción para aquellos que han arribado a través de una nación considerada “segura”. Pero la Ley de Inmigración y Nacionalidad, que rige la ley de asilo, es vaga sobre qué país es considerado “seguro”; solo dice que “en virtud de un acuerdo bilateral o multilateral”.
WASHINGTON (AP) — The Trump administration on Monday moved to end asylum protections for most Central American migrants in a major escalation of the president’s battle to tamp down the number of people crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
According to a new rule published in the Federal Register , asylum seekers who pass through another country first will be ineligible for asylum at the U.S. southern border. The rule, expected to go into effect Tuesday, also applies to children who have crossed the border alone.
There are some exceptions: If someone has been trafficked, if the country the migrant passed through did not sign one of the major international treaties that govern how refugees are managed (though most Western countries have signed them) or if an asylum-seeker sought protection in a country but was denied, then a migrant could still apply for U.S. asylum.
But the move by President Donald Trump’s administration was meant to essentially end asylum protections as they now are on the southern border, reversing decades of U.S. policy on how refugees are treated and coming as the government continues to clamp down on migrants and as the treatment of those who made it to the country is heavily criticized as inhumane.
Attorney General William Bar said that the United States is “a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed” by the burdens associated with apprehending and processing hundreds of thousands of migrants at the southern border.
“This rule will decrease forum shopping by economic migrants and those who seek to exploit our asylum system to obtain entry to the United States,” Barr said in a statement.
The policy is almost certain to face a legal challenge. U.S. law allows refugees to request asylum when they arrive at the U.S. regardless of how they did so, but there is an exception for those who have come through a country considered to be “safe.” But the Immigration and Nationality Act, which governs asylum law, is vague on how a country is determined “safe”; it says “pursuant to a bilateral or multilateral agreement.”
Right now, the U.S. has such an agreement, known as a “safe third country,” only with Canada. Under a recent agreement with Mexico, Central American countries were considering a regional compact on the issue, but nothing has been decided. Guatemalan officials were expected in Washington on Monday, but apparently a meeting between Trump and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales was canceled amid a court challenge in Guatemala over whether the country could agree to a safe third with the U.S.
American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt, who has litigated some of the major challenges to the Trump administration’s immigration policies, said the rule was unlawful.
“The rule, if upheld, would effectively eliminate asylum for those at the southern border,” he said. “But it is patently unlawful.”
The new rule also will apply to the initial asylum screening, known as a “credible fear” interview, at which migrants must prove they have credible fears of returning to their home country. It applies to migrants who are arriving to the U.S., not those who are already in the country.