Trump Wants to Restrict Asylum Out of Existence

JM Ashby
Written by JM Ashby

The Associated Press first reported this morning that the Trump regime is taking executive action to more or less end asylum as we know it and rewrite the rules in violation of current federal law.

Federal law says that anyone may apply for asylum inside the United States regardless of how they got here, but Trump wants to restrict the process so it will apply to almost no one.

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. [...]

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.”

Members of the Trump regime have spent months upon months trying to discourage immigrants from traveling to the United States by hyping how dangerous the journey through Mexico is. So, for them to now claim that Mexico is "safe" is not going to pass the laugh test in front of a federal judge.

Even if the Trump White House were not a beehive of contradictions, there's plenty of reason to think that the first federal judge who looks at this will block it -- as almost all of Trump's attempts to limit asylum have been blocked in court -- but the Trump regime is making their racist intent very clear.

Maybe that's the idea. Maybe they know it's unlikely that this will survive in court, but it sure will fire up the bigots.

  • Like most things Trumpov tries to do, its unconstitutional on it’s face. Since Congress won’t legislate, he’s trying to do so and it shouldn’t make through a single courtroom….but we’ll see.

  • muselet

    Another day, another act of performative cruelty by Donald Trump.

    Federal law—and the underlying Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951) and the Protocol Relating to the Status of Refugees (1967), not to mention the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (1948)—prohibits crap like this. Trump doesn’t care, because his supporters eat it up with a spoon. For Trump, it’s a twofer: his voters get their Two Minutes Hate, thus ensuring they stay loyal to him, and he gets a little frisson of primal pleasure. It’s never more complicated than that with this administration.

    Adam Serwer said it best last October:

    Trump’s only true skill is the con; his only fundamental belief is that the United States is the birthright of straight, white, Christian men, and his only real, authentic pleasure is in cruelty. It is that cruelty, and the delight it brings them, that binds his most ardent supporters to him, in shared scorn for those they hate and fear: immigrants, black voters, feminists, and treasonous white men who empathize with any of those who would steal their birthright. The president’s ability to execute that cruelty through word and deed makes them euphoric. It makes them feel good, it makes them feel proud, it makes them feel happy, it makes them feel united. And as long as he makes them feel that way, they will let him get away with anything, no matter what it costs them.


    • The cruelty is the point.

      • Christopher Foxx

        Yup. How much it it harms themselves is irrelevant. As long as the brown folks are harmed.

  • waspuppet

    So, for them to now claim that Mexico is “safe” is not going to pass the laugh test in front of a federal judge.

    That of course depends on which federal judge they get in front of. Plenty of them hate America as much as Trump does.

    • muselet

      I had that same thought.