Trump's illegal asylum ban also targets the most vulnerable of the vulnerable: unaccompanied kids
A Department of Homeland Security (DHS) document claimed that the Trump administration’s illegal proclamation attempting to severely limit the rights of asylum seekers who try to cross the southern border at any area other than an official port of entry wouldn’t apply to minors who came to the U.S. by themselves. That appears to have been a lie.
“Unlike others,” Buzzfeed’s Hamed Aleaziz reports, “unaccompanied minors can apply for and be granted asylum directly with a (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) officer as opposed to appearing before an immigration court. Even if children are initially denied by a USCIS officer, they can take the claim to an immigration court.”
But in a separate memo “published online late Friday states that unaccompanied children who cross the border without authorization will be ineligible for asylum under the new policies,” he continued, meaning the administration will then also be targeting the most vulnerable of the vulnerable. An unnamed USCIS official called it “a punch to the gut.”
“Like, wow, you’ve really gone this far to affect children?” they continued. “And it’s just like, have we sunk this low? That’s my feeling.” Yes, our nation has sunk this low, because we have a raging white supremacist at the helm of the ship who has targeted migrant children in every horrendous way imaginable. Currently, the administration has a record number of detained migrant kids under custody, the vast majority of them unaccompanied minors.
Now with this latest illegal action—justified entirely on fearmongering of asylum seekers—the administration wants to send other kids who may be coming to our border back to the danger they fled from. “The unaccompanied children I see in courts in Cleveland and elsewhere in the country, their asylum claims are central to what they litigate before the immigration court,” immigration attorney David Leopold said. “To be left with [a more limited process] … the impact is enormous.”
Trump is already being sued for his illegal ban by the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), and the Center for Constitutional Rights, which filed the lawsuit on behalf of East Bay Sanctuary Covenant, Al Otro Lado, Innovation Law Lab, and the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles. “The asylum ban is unlawful and morally unconscionable,” said the SPLC’s Melissa Crow. “The government’s blatant disregard for the rights of asylum seekers cannot stand.”