The new rule must still undergo a public comment period and will not take effect immediately. But it builds on the previous and in the course of Asset administration efforts to block asylum seekers from reaching the ports of entry, keep them in Border Patrol detention without access to a lawyer, send them to wait in danger in Mexico, while their cases are pending, and, since the advent of the Covid-19, of deporting them without hearings.
In mid-March, the united states suspended transfers, the Guatemala, in response to the pandemic. The agreements with Honduras and El Salvador, however, are waiting to be implemented. There is still a chance to put an end to these agreements before you put asylum seekers in danger.
Our organizations studied the Trumpet of the administration of the Guatemala case, including interviews with 40 people transferred before the pandemic breaks. We found that the U.S. government has put in Guatemala hundreds of non-Guatemalans, mainly women with young children, who have well-founded fears of persecution.
In Guatemala, hundreds of persons transferred in the face of uncertainty and serious risk and as a result many of them have actually been compelled to abandon their asylum applications and return to the places they had fled in fear.
The asylum seekers at the border of the south were denied the most basic safeguards, including the opportunity to present evidence and / or acquisition of a lawyer. Many had endured demeaning and coercive treatment by the Border Patrol.
A Salvadoran woman told us that she was forced to the signing of the “voluntary deportation” of the form at 2 o’clock in the morning, that he believes to be an asylum application. Shortly after, the officers shackled her around her waist, wrists and ankles and sent him to Guatemala. “For them, we are like bugs,” she said.
A Honduran teenager who was abducted and tortured by a band of look like an informant, said: “It’s worse here (in Guatemala)… because (the same gang) require you to kill people, and if you don’t, they will kill my mother or kill my family. ”
The asylum seekers told us that they had 72 hours to seek asylum in Guatemala, to apply for another type of residence, or go home. They have provided little information on the Guatemala nascent and too heavy, the system of the asylum. Even if the assignees were not afraid to wait in Guatemala, they have immense difficulty in supporting themselves and their children.
A Honduran woman traveling with her baby said that she has found no support or place to stay in Guatemala and had to return to Honduras, despite the threat of gang violence that had forced her husband to flee to the united states.
No government is monitoring what is happening to asylum-seekers transferred to Guatemala.
Look away does not absolve the U.S. government of its responsibility to the state to protect asylum-seekers, even in situations of national emergency.
The united states Immigration and Nationality Law and international law permits asylum seekers to be sent to a third country that is “safe” and provides full access and fairness of the asylum procedure. These Trump administration of the agreements, however, pervert this notion of “safe third country” and the contempt of the international protection and cooperation total.
Pressure on Central America to enter harmful agreements when the region has a very limited capacity to provide asylum to risk-normalize this is clearly illegal approach.
The administration of the approach to block, detain or expel a removal system that betrays the promise of the US asylum system by denying asylum seekers the opportunity to seek protection. And the new draft regulation continues to the Asylum of the co-operation Agreement ‘s evisceration of the credible fear interview process, and the perversion of the safe third-country concept.
What is urgently required is an approach that allows people in countries neighbouring their full measure of rights to asylum, and addresses the regional factors of the creation of the threat of violence.
The leaders of the countries parties to such unlawful agreements, including the united states as the main instigator, should terminate the contract before transfer, Guatemala, summary and agreements in Honduras and El Salvador to begin.
Congress should invest in the asylum system, to strengthen the legal and procedural safeguards and to stop illegally the return of people to places where their life or freedom is in danger.