A migrant family, part of a caravan of thousands traveling from Central America to the United States, run away from tear gas in front of the border wall. Kim Kyung Hoon—Reuters. Read more about the story here.
Earlier this week, we witnessed the horrific tear-gassing of women and children on the border: children wearing diapers and shoe-less, running for cover as U.S. Border Control waged war on those seeking asylum.
The U.S. is bound by both international law (1967 Protocol to the Refugee Convention) and domestic law (Immigration and Nationality Act Section 208) to allow asylum seekers who arrive at our border (regardless of where they arrive) to apply for asylum and to have their claims heard. These families may, or may not, get to stay here, but the U.S. is obliged to give them a hearing. The administration is forcing asylum seekers to only cross at designated border crossings, thereby deliberately creating a bottle-neck that prevents people from applying, with the hope that they will give up.Looking at this issue through a humane lens, these vulnerable families are fleeing violence. We ought to provide safe passage and give them the opportunity to seek a life free from persecution.
The administration is on a branding mission to portray these families as liars, criminals and terrorists when they are the opposite.
The IIIC stands for a version of Americanness that welcomes people, and that gives people an opportunity to become part of our society and to help us make it better. We refuse to operate from a place of fear, and we resist the movement to divide our nation into an “us and them” society.We call upon the Department of Homeland Security to follow our own law and to treat asylum seekers humanely, and we call upon our congressional leaders to prioritize a resolution to these emergency immigration issues.