EDITORIAL: Cut off: Court allows U.S. to reject asylum bids without review - Brownsville Herald: Editorials

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EDITORIAL: Cut off: Court allows U.S. to reject asylum bids without review

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Posted: Thursday, September 19, 2019 10:15 am

The Supreme Court’s recent ruling that allows the Trump administration to implement immigration and asylum restrictions might address the high numbers of people seeking asylum in this country, but it arbitrarily puts untold numbers of them in real danger.

America has long been the bastion of freedom and opportunity for the rest of the world. It’s a nice reputation to have, to be sure, but history clearly shows that it brings unique challenges that our country must address. When people, either individually or in groups, feel compelled to leave their homelands, their first choice to relocate often is the United States.

Immigration advocates are quick to point out, correctly, that immigration is one of the primary reasons our country consistently leads the world in economic growth and both industrial and social progress. Many of our greatest inventions and innovations, as well as many of our most successful businesses, originated in the minds of Americans who were born in other countries.

However, many say the sheer numbers of people seeking to live here are unmanageable, and their drain on tax-funded services offsets the obvious contributions they make. Different studies have both supported and contradicted those assertions, depending on the methodology used.

Reducing immigration was the keystone of Donald Trump’s successful presidential campaign, and remains his main focus. Most of his proposals have been contested in court and many have been thrown out, but the Supreme Court last week allowed the administration to implement its most recent policies. The court did not rule on the constitutionality of the proposals, saying it could rule on the inevitable legal challenges that arise once they’re implemented.

Some of them certainly will require judicial evaluation, and the court easily could have addressed them from the outset.

For example, the changes set up roadblocks that make it easier to reject migrants seeking asylum without reviewing their cases. For example, people who come through Mexico, such as the thousands of Central Americans who have sought refuge here

in recent years, now must first request asylum there. This places a burden on the Mexican government that our country has neither the legal nor moral authority to impose.

To be sure, thousands of people already have petitioned for asylum in Mexico, creating backlogs similar to our own, but the Mexican government has pledged to give each case the attention it requires.

However, many left Central America to escape criminal gangs that reportedly have tried to conscript young residents into membership. But if those gangs are affiliated with cartels that are causing widespread death and destruction across Mexico, the renegade teens might not be any safer in that country; that renders any asylum request there pointless.

We can’t save the world, and it’s unfortunate that so many people don’t feel save in their homelands. But a refusal to review valid asylum cases will leave many people in danger, and violates the very traditions that made our country a symbol of hope for the world.

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