Over the last month President Trump has focused a stream of racists tweets and ugly comments at a “caravan” of refugees and migrants from Central America and Mexico traveling north to seek asylum in the United States.
While ignoring U.S. support for the drug war and repressive government in Honduras that gave rise to the caravan, Trump spewed invective against these asylum seekers, depicting them as a national security threat to rally his nationalist base.
150 families and many unaccompanied children have now arrived at the border. They are requesting asylum and are being processed by border agents at the San Ysidro Port of Entry. U.S. laws grant asylum seekers a fair audience with a judge after a “credible fear” interview.
We think they should be given a fair hearing, but even before knowing the details of the cases, U.S. authorities, led by President Trump have sought to undermine the credibility of their claims.
Revealing woeful ignorance of the laws he is sworn to uphold, President Trump said they were “trying to take advantage of DACA” and DHS Secretary Nielsen said that they were trying to take advantage of “loopholes” in current immigration law.
Their anti-immigrant messaging is intended to influence the criteria of judges and the general public with false perceptions of “imminent influx of asylum seekers” with “harmful consequences”. The truth is U.S. border crossings along the southern border are at their lowest level since 1971.
These families are fleeing from organized violence in countries where U.S. policy has contributed to unlivable conditions. We owe them their human and legal rights as asylum seekers.
Call Department of Homeland Security Secretary Nielsen
Demand Secretary Nielsen allocate the necessary resources and personnel to ensure an expedited and due process for Central American families seeking asylum in the U.S.