A few civil rights groups have been filed a lawsuit to stop the Trump administration’s new rules that end asylum protections.
The new policy will make migrants passing through another country on their way to the U.S. ineligible for asylum. It’s the most forceful attempt yet by President Trump to reduce the number of people seeking asylum in the U.S.
“This is the Trump administration’s most extreme run at an asylum ban yet,” said American Civil Liberties Union attorney Lee Gelernt in a statement. “It clearly violates domestic and international law, and cannot stand.”
The majority of migrants arriving at the border this year go through Mexico, including Africans, Cubans, Central Americans and Haitians. That makes it impossible for them to get asylum.
Ndifor Gedeon is just one migrant who has tried to seek asylum in the last few months. He arrived in Tijuana after he was put in jail in Cameroon by a government that has been going after the African nation’s English-speaking minority.
Gedeon started to think his decision was a mistake after learning that he might not be able to get asylum because of the new policy.
“I feel sick,” he said of the anxiety that consumes him. “If I am sent back to Cameroon, I’d lose my life. The situation is very horrible.”
President Trump has accused immigrants of taking advantage of this country’s asylum system for a long time and has made it more difficult for them to get approved.
While many of the new measures have been rejected by the courts, one big exception is a policy that requires certain asylum seekers to wait in Mexico as their immigration court cases get resolved. They also have to pass an initial screening called a “credible fear” interview. The new policy would cause them to fail the test unless they sought and were denied asylum in at least one country they traveled through.
The new strict policies haven’t stopped many immigrant families from crossing the border this year, which has put a lot of stress on border facilities and authorities. Five immigrant children have died since last year after they were detained by the government.