The Trump administration and our leaders in Congress now have a clear choice to make: Whether to adopt commonsense public health measures that protect everyone—regardless of where they come from—or to embrace policies that endanger asylum seekers and jeopardize our collective health.
“Orwellian” is the only word to describe one of the administration’s latest assaults on asylum, which would deem the northern triangle countries of El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras—which all experience crisis levels of violence—to be “safe third countries” to which the U.S. could “outsource” its obligations to refugees.
The perversely-named Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP)—more appropriately dubbed by advocates the Migrant Persecution Protocols—requires asylum-seekers to remain in Mexico for the duration of their immigration proceedings. Every day that this policy is allowed to stand, the administration is endangering thousands of lives.
It is indisputable that barring exceptional circumstances, jailing children is wrong. Child welfare experts agree that detention, even for short periods of time, has profoundly adverse impacts on children’s long-term health and development. But the Trump administration is still fighting to hold migrant children in detention—indefinitely.