The caravan asylum seekers continue on their journey toward the U.S./Mexico border. The walk, that began from San Pedro Sula in Honduras and intends to finish at the border, is still thousands of miles away and may take several weeks to reach its final destination. Yet still, President Donald Trump is telling them to turn back now — via Twitter of course.
Yesterday, Trump tweeted: “To those in the Caravan, turnaround, we are not letting people into the United States illegally. Go back to your Country and if you want, apply for citizenship like millions of others are doing!” What the president doesn’t seem to understand is that these people aren’t seeking citizenship but rather asylum, which is two completely different things.
According to U.S. government, people who may apply for asylum must fall under a couple of categories, and they state: “You may apply for asylum regardless of your immigration status and within one year of your arrival to the United States.” So if your immigration status is undocumented, you qualify. People must also adhere to these qualifications: “Changes in conditions in your country of nationality or, if you are stateless, your country of last habitual residence; Changes in your circumstances that materially affect your eligibility for asylum, including changes in applicable U.S. law and activities you become involved in outside the country of feared persecution that place you at risk.”
I want to make this very clear the caravan is a caravan of refugees.
They are abiding international law by coming to the USA, going to a port of entry and asking for alyssum.
This is their right. https://t.co/WETIQHxoFf
— Paola Mendoza (@paolamendoza) October 25, 2018
That last time we checked, the people from Honduras are fleeing their country because there’s rampant violence, their lives are in danger, and their economy is shot, which means they cannot get jobs to support themselves. So that alone makes them perfect candidates for asylum. The economy issue in Central America is partially the fault of the U.S. government because we funded their civil war.
“We do have an obligation as a country under international law to allow people to apply for protection, even if they have come through another country,” Doris Meissner, the director of the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, told TIME magazine.
It’s very problematic for the president to not only want to go against international law by telling these people that they cannot seek asylum, but also by threatening to send troops to the border. By spending millions of dollars to send troops to a border in which they have no idea when the caravan will arrive, is simply wasteful and irresponsible. There’s no point in having protection against people who are following the law.