Seeking Asylum is Legal | Physicians for Human Rights

Seeking Asylum is Legal

Don’t let Trump put asylum seekers’ lives in danger.

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Don’t let Trump put asylum seekers’ lives in danger.

President Trump has launched his latest broadside against immigrants and asylum seekers. But no matter what this administration says, we know that asking for asylum is a legal right. 

Teams of researchers and doctors from Physicians for Human Rights are working with asylum seekers at the border – and what we’re learning is truly alarming. Under new, legally dubious policies, asylum seekers must return to Mexico to wait out the asylum process – putting them at risk of further physical and psychological trauma. 

Many of the migrants we’ve spoken to are afraid for their lives and are terrified that the dangerous forces they fled have followed them to Mexico. Every day they wait for their turn to cross into the United States is another day of fear and danger for these already extremely vulnerable people.

The United States has a legal and moral responsibility to process asylum seekers in safety and dignity.

We can’t let the Trump administration trample on the rights of immigrants and asylum seekers. Please stand with us and tell Congress that seeking asylum is a legal right!

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Your Message
Seeking Asylum is Legal
Dear Members of Congress,

I write to express my grave concern over the Trump administration’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico throughout their process to obtain asylum in the United States. I am further troubled by additional efforts, such as “metering” access to the border and new policy announcements meant to further limit the parameters of grounds for asylum, which the administration has adopted in order to restrict access to asylum protection in the United States. These policies place asylum seekers who are already in vulnerable situations at additional risk of irreparable harm as they wait in unsafe conditions in Mexico.

Last month, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) began implementing the MPP policy at the San Ysidro border crossing in San Diego, returning asylum seekers to Mexico to await their U.S. immigration court hearings and putting at risk thousands of asylum seekers who are hoping to find safety in the United States. This practice is clearly inhumane and inconsistent with U.S. legal obligations.

According to Physicians for Human Rights medical experts who have worked with asylum seekers in both the United States and Mexico, these policies will only increase the humanitarian crisis unfolding along the border. These asylum seekers – many of them children – will now be exposed to dangerous conditions with no promise of safety. Forcing asylum seekers to return to Mexico violates the United States’ constitutional obligations to due process protections, and is effectively a step toward refoulement, which is prohibited under international refugee law.

Border protection and immigration agencies under the Trump administration are failing to fulfill their legal responsibility to process asylum seekers in safety and dignity. Blocking asylum seekers’ entry is not a legitimate policy solution to this humanitarian crisis.

I urge you to assert the constitutional powers of Congress for oversight to investigate these rights-denying policies. And I ask that you act to implement protections for asylum seekers, provide medical and humanitarian response capacity for Customs and Border Patrol personnel along the border, and ensure access to the physical and legal protections that asylum seekers are afforded under U.S. and international law.

Sincerely,
[First Name] [Last Name]

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