More attacks on asylum-seekers reportedly in the works as Stephen Miller consolidates power
As Donald Trump’s inhumane and illegal policy forcing asylum-seekers to return to Mexico has been temporarily blocked by a federal judge, the administration is reportedly drafting further plans to continue its assault on vulnerable people seeking safety at our southern border. The plans, NBC News reports, would require vulnerable people “to do more to prove they have a credible fear of returning home and [would put] border agents in charge of the interview process.”
“Currently, asylum-seekers are interviewed by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum officers and only need to express a fear of persecution in their home country in order to pass the first step in the process.” But putting border officials in charge of this would turn “the credible fear screening process into an absolute farce,” advocacy organization Human Rights First said. “Border patrol officers are simply not qualified to do this. These officers don’t have the legal background, the country condition expertise, or the necessary training to conduct these critical interviews.”
What could go wrong here, when some border agents have bragged about destroying lifesaving jugs of water in the desert? In a video released by humanitarian group No More Deaths last year, a border patrol agent smiled at the camera as he poured out jugs one-by-one, saying, “Make sure you get a nice shot … picking up this trash that somebody left on the trail.” Data suggests that more than 8,000 migrants have died crossing the border since the 1990s.
The proposals come as White House aide and white supremacist Stephen Miller has consolidated control over a vast sector of the Trump administration after ousting Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen and others, and officials say he is the person behind this plan to make it intentionally harder for vulnerable people to gain protection here. “The right to seek asylum is protected by U.S. law and international treaties,” NBC News continued. “The new policies are likely to be challenged in court by groups such as the American Civil Liberties Union, which previously brought class action suits against the Trump administration for its immigration policies.”