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USA: Trump plans to block asylum to people from Central America

Migrants and refugees from Central American countries at the US-Mexico border last year © Alfredo Estrella/AFP/Getty Images

White House reportedly set to bar asylum applicants who transit through a third country, meaning only Mexicans could cross southern border to claim asylum 

‘This latest policy is a disgusting example of the lengths the Trump administration will go to deny people protection’ - Charanya Krishnaswami

Donald Trump’s administration is reportedly considering barring anyone who transits through a third country from seeking asylum at the US border, meaning that anyone other than Mexicans and Canadians would effectively be prevented from seeking asylum in the United States. 

Responding to the reports, Charanya Krishnaswami, Amnesty International USA’s Advocacy Director for the Americas, said

“This latest policy is a disgusting example of the lengths the Trump administration will go to deny people protection. 
“Seeking asylum is a human right, full stop. 

“Instead of taking sensible steps to fix this crisis of their own making, they choose to further their agenda of hate and fear against mothers, fathers, children, and anyone else who has been forced to flee their homes and who have no other way to seek safety. 

“To effectively close the border to Central Americans and the vast majority of people seeking asylum not only violates human rights obligations, but is also fundamentally cruel.”

Multiple barriers 

Amnesty has documented the human costs of the many barriers already in place against asylum-seekers who seek refuge in the United States. These include the practice of “metering” which illegally keeps asylum-seekers waiting in Mexico for their turn to apply for asylum at ports-of-entry; and the dangerous “Remain in Mexico” policy, which forcibly returns them to harm’s way in Mexico while they fight for their right to seek asylum in the United States. 

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