Trump Issues Proclamation to Block Refugees from Asylum
New York City—In response to President Trump’s proclamation that seeks to block refugees from asylum if they cross between official border points, Eleanor Acer issued the following statement:
This is an asylum ban, pure and simple. Today’s proclamation is the culmination of a campaign by President Trump and anti-immigrant voices in the White House to illegally bar from asylum those seeking protection at our southern border. There is no crisis that requires blocking refugees from asylum and violating laws passed by Congress.
Refugees are not a security threat, and the president knows this. This ban does nothing to make America safer; its only purpose is to further a bigoted agenda that seeks to demonize and dehumanize people whose only wish is to live in safety and dignity.
Seeking asylum is not a crime. Congress specifically passed laws guaranteeing that people fleeing persecution can apply for asylum, regardless of where they crossed the border. President Trump is not above the law, and this will not stand up in court.
Human Rights First notes that many refugees crossing the border between entry points do so because this administration has made it increasingly difficult to seek asylum at official ports of entry. Border agents often turn people away, claiming that ports are full, and make people wait in difficult and dangerous conditions in Mexico. The Department of Homeland Security’s own Inspector General’s Office has confirmed that turning away refugees from official border points leads some to cross between ports of entry. The orchestrated bottlenecks at ports of entry make clear that the Trump Administration’s actions are more about manufacturing a crisis than actually addressing border security and humanitarian needs.
For more information see Human Rights First’s fact sheets: