Hopeful news for asylum seekers

Erick Widman

By the terms of an agreement reached between the Trump administration, the ACLU, and other legal teams representing families separated at the border, some of the parents formerly prevented from doing so will likely be able to re-apply for asylum. The agreement must be approved by the presiding federal judge.

According to the ACLU, “The cases of parents who are still in the United States and who have been ordered deported will be reviewed to determine whether they have a credible fear of persecution. They will be able to consult with lawyers and present new or additional information in their asylum cases.”

For those who were deported, the new agreement may open a way for them to return and also re-submit asylum applications: “The government has maintained that parents who have already been deported are not eligible for asylum, but the settlement may create the possibility that some deported parents will be able to return to the U.S.”

Learn more here.

Another possibility

Three Texas lawmakers have proposed another way of addressing “unauthorized border crossings.” According to reporter Roque Planas,“Veronica Escobar, gubernatorial candidate Lupe Valdez and U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-Texas), who’s running for Senate, all called for some form of decriminalization.”

The cost savings, as well as the prospect of a more direct approach to immigration reform than the end of ICE, are among the factors at issues in these proposals.
Escobar, a candidate for congress, who “arrived at the conclusion that immigration violations should be decriminalized from a human rights perspective,” also focused on the cost of the current Trump administration policy: “When we treat asylum-seekers like criminals, the next step is we have to jail them, we have to incarcerate them,” which is “incredibly costly.”

Valdez, who has served as both Dallas County Sheriff and Customs agent argues that
“The majority of people are not coming in to do harm. … We still have to have some kind of checking and verifying, but I don’t think coming in here undocumented should be a criminal issue.”

For his part, O’Rourke, who is running against incumbent Republican Senator Ted Cruz, calls attention to the desperate situation of Central Americans fleeing violence and poverty in their own countries “who do what I think any human would do, which is to request asylum in between ports of entry.” O’Rourke speaks for all three lawmakers when he says “We should not criminalize that.”

Learn more here.

Thanks to Professor Nancy Casciato for writing this blog post.

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