Immigration Law

USCIS Asylum Officers: Trump's 'Remain in Mexico' Policy Threatens Lives

Maria Sacchetti, Washington Post, June 27, 2019

"U.S. asylum officers slammed President Trump’s policy of forcing migrants to remain in Mexico while they await immigration hearings in the United States, urging a federal appeals court Wednesday to block the administration from continuing the program. The officers, who are directed to implement the policy, said it is threatening migrants’ lives and is “fundamentally contrary to the moral fabric of our Nation.”

The labor union representing asylum officers filed a friend-of-the-court brief that sided with the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups challenging Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols program, which has sent 12,000 asylum-seeking migrants to Mexico since January. The policy aims to deter migrants from coming to the United States and to keep them out of the country while courts weigh their claims.

The union argued that the policy goes against the nation’s long-standing view that asylum seekers and refugees should have a way to escape persecution in their homelands, with the United States embracing its status as a safe haven since even before it was founded — with the arrival of the Pilgrims in the 17th century. The union said in court papers that the policy is compelling sworn officers to participate in the “widespread violation” of international and federal law — “something that they did not sign up to do when they decided to become asylum and refugee officers for the United States government.”"