SPLC statement on Trump administration policy that forces asylum seekers to wait in Mexico

The Trump administration’s war on asylum seekers sank to a new low with a policy that – beginning today – will force migrants to wait in Mexico while their cases wind through U.S. courts.

There is no doubt that, unless blocked, this policy will lead to even more chaos and further erode our nation’s core values.

Like so many of the other policies implemented by this administration, this willfully ignores the reality that current flows of migrants are due to the ongoing humanitarian crisis in Central America. 

Desperate migrant families have arrived seeking refuge from the perils of their Central American homelands, and have been trapped at the border in grave danger as a result of the administration’s illegal policies.

But today’s announcement ignores the reality that the Trump administration has a longstanding policy and practice of denying asylum seekers access to the asylum process – using threats, intimidation, coercion, verbal abuse, physical force and physically obstructing access to ports of entry across the U.S.-Mexico border.

To knowingly and willingly deny due process to countless asylum seekers who have fled extreme violence or other persecution by their governments – or private actors that the government is unable or unwilling to control – is unconscionable.

It cannot and should not stand.

The SPLC is actively fighting the Trump administration’s unlawful and abhorrent immigration policies, including those targeting asylum seekers. The SPLC has filed suit challenging the administration’s “turnback” policy (AL OTRO LADO), which has played a large part in creating the crisis at the border, and is working with the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) to fight the asylum ban (East Bay), which was recently blocked by a federal judge.