The Trump administration’s “remain in Mexico” policy aimed at deterring asylum seekers, especially at the southern border, is illegal and a human rights violation, the head of Amnesty International in the United States has said.
By law, the US is required to allow asylum seekers to file a request for asylum, but the Trump administration has implemented policies designed to prevent that from happening, including placing Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) officers at the international boundary to ask travelers for documentation before getting to the port of entry.
“First and foremost the policy is a violation of US and international law and clearly a human rights violation. If the US recognized that an individual has a credible fear of prosecution you can’t send them somewhere else – it is on the obligation of the state to offer protection and not delegate it to some third party,” Margaret Huang, the executive director for Amnesty International US, told the Guardian this week.
Huang cited a memo from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that was leaked last month showing the intent of the Trump administration to traumatize migrant children and parents to deter migrants coming to the US. Huang said the newest policy appeared to be an extension of previous efforts to shortcut all legal avenues for migrants to come into the country.
“It really is throwing the entire system into chaos. It feels like the US government is saying: ‘Lets make things as complicated as confusing as possible so we deter people from coming and if they try, we’ll make it so hard for them and make them feel miserable,’,” Huang said.