(Washington, DC) – The United States government should effectively screen the asylum seekers making their way from Honduras while meeting its obligations to provide protection to people who need it, Human Rights Watch said today.
“This is largely a manufactured political crisis, not a fundamentally new humanitarian one,” said Alison Parker, managing director of the US Program of Human Rights Watch. “The US should admit and efficiently screen asylum seekers and protect those found to be fleeing violence and persecution.”
The migrants moving through Central America and Mexico are coming from countries where many people are victims of persecution that would qualify them for asylum.
News media reports say that President Donald Trump is considering an executive action to close the border to asylum seekers from Central America – using the same law he invoked in 2017 to ban citizens of several majority Muslim countries from entering the US. The action would come days before midterm elections and as the government prepares to send troops to the southern border.
The reports say the order would direct border agents not to admit Central Americans who come to ports of entry to seek protection and to consider migrants who cross in an unauthorized manner ineligible for asylum.