The Trump administration has announced some of its most restrictive immigration policy yet. In what seems like a common sense move, the administration ruled that any asylum claim will be denied if the individual makes or could have made an asylum claim in another country as well.
By definition, asylum claims are to be made by those who feel unsafe in their home countries and wish to be protected by another country’s government. For clarification, regardless of your political beliefs, an asylum claim is not made just because you recognize that our country is better than the one you came from.
Asylum claims are designed to be used sparingly and only for the protection of an individual’s life, and asylum-seekers are meant to be given refuge in the nearest possible place. If an individual from Central or South America wishes to claim asylum, they should not be traveling all the way through Mexico to claim asylum in the United States. Their lives, being in imminent danger regardless, would be safest traveling to the closest possible country.
With all this in mind, the Supreme court ruled against the ACLU (representing illegal immigrants) in a case where California had refused to enforce the statute in question, saying it violated a previous federal law. Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Ruth Bader-Ginsburg co-wrote the dissenting opinion and spoke of the importance of asylum laws. It is important to reiterate that the Supreme Court made nothing but a common sense ruling that just happened to be against the two justices’ political beliefs, proving the supremely partisan nature of 21st century jurisprudence once again.
In any case, the Supreme Court’s upholding of President Trump’s new asylum law effectively makes it impossible for illegal immigrants from anywhere but Mexico to make an asylum claim. Make no mistake about it: Mexico is a country that functions well in keeping at-risk individuals safe, and sound reasons in which an individual would travel 2,000 arduous miles should be few and far between as long as his or her intent isn’t to abuse the system.
Trump has once again shown that the United States will not be a permissive country. If you take advantage of a good faith system, you will no longer have the opportunity to use it.