Starting from this week, it will become much harder for immigrants from Central America to seek asylum in the United States as the Trump administration issued a new rule on July 15. The move comes as President Trump threatened to deport thousands of undocumented immigrants.
In an interview with the Heat on CGTN America, Oscar Chacon, co-founder and executive director of Alianza Americas, said it would be terrible for people trying to seek safety under the new rule. "This is déjà vu," he said.
"In the 1980s, many people like me came to the U.S. We are applying for asylum and the rate of denial of applications was over 90 percent. Forty years later, rather than changing the rules on asylum, they are actually closing the door," he observed.
In Chacon's view, the Trump administration has been relentless in pursuing a policy that eventually seeks to block anybody, especially from Mexico and other Central American countries to reach the United States. The conditions in the southern borders are part of the plan which aims at mobilizing the most ardent supporters of Trump to get him reelected in 2020.
"This administration is pursuing a very racist immigration policy," said Chacon. He points out that the new rules will also cause fears and uncertainties among the immigrants who are already living in the U.S. As a result, some of them may decide to self-deport.
Sarah Pierce, a policy analyst for the U.S. Immigration Policy Program at the Migration Policy Institute, believes this administration is sincerely being overwhelmed by the crisis. Even though the U.S. migration crisis is getting severe, the administration isn't stepping up to increase resources at the southern borders or speeding up the asylum adjudication.
Another opposition voice is heard from the American Civil Liberties Union. "The Trump administration is trying to unilaterally reverse our country's legal and moral commitment to protect those fleeing dangers. This new rule is patently unlawful, and we will sue swiftly," Lester Munson, a principal at BGR Group, said. He argued although there's a real political conundrum in the U.S. right now, the country is divided on this question. "The new rule is a terrible idea," he said.
The refugees' flow is greater than before in Central America. Therefore, Munson thinks the best way for America is to pursue a better foreign policy. "The U.S. should help these countries to promote democracy and human rights," he said.