Saturday, November 3, 2018

Trump wants to change asylum law by edict; but many countries have weakened asylum since the Soviet Union collapsed

An important column by Max Fisher and Amanda Taub in the New York Times today examines the trend, since the 1990s, for the world to be less accommodating to asylum seekers, despite the customs of international law, once the Soviet Union folded at then end of 1991. 

For example, we had a Mariel boatlift from Cuba in 1980, but in 1993 the Supreme Court supported the Clinton Administration in turning back people from Haiti.

Trump claims that many of the people in the caravans are young men, not women and children (probably not disproportionate). 

Trump wants to greatly restrict asylum claims (which must be processed once someone enters the country;  there are rules on overstayed visas).  Trump calls asylum seekers a “loophole” in the immigration system, and says people who enter illegally cannot claim asylum, application can be made only at a lawful point of entry.  This would be challenged in court (it sounds like midterm fodder for Trump’s base). It is likely that this development that could become a flash point leading to more demonstrations.

Update: Nov. 8

The Washington Post reports (Nick Miroff) that the new rule will be entered into the Federal Register and that Trump claims "emergency power".  Let the litigation begin!  

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