Despite being the son of Scottish and German immigrants, having a Slovenian wife, and an ex-wife and children from Czech Republic, President Donald Trump is continuing to stand his ground on immigration.
After making aggressive immigration policy a focal point for his presidential campaign in 2016, and making it a priority in the run up to the midterms earlier this month, Trump seems to be upholding his harsh and aggressive stance on immigration. Citizens from Southern and Central America and the Middle East have demonised and marginalised in North America, with the signing of Executive Order 13780 in March 2017, banning citizens from Muslim countries Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen from entering the United States, including refugees from Syria.
President Trump’s office is making it clear that it is prioritising the security and interests of American citizens, unfortunately at the detriment of anyone seeking safety and a brighter future in the US. This hostility towards immigration has once again reared its head, after a caravan of thousands made its way from Honduras to the Mexican/United States border.
According to news source usatoday, early in October, a group of around 150 people from Honduras began the long journey to the US/Mexico border. Along the way, Amnesty International’s calculations estimated that around 10,000 people were making the treacherous journey in an effort to escape the poverty, violence and the organised crime groups called Maras, rife in Honduras, where the murder rate is 800% higher than the average in the US.
In response to the mass-caravan President Trump has again been coming out with controversial statements about the treatment of asylum seekers, refugees and immigrants. According to CNN politics Trump said that there are “people coming up through the southern border from the Middle East and other places that are not appropriate for our country. And I’m not letting them in. They’re not coming in.”
Although there is no direct evidence to prove that this is correct, it is known that Guatemala is a superhighway for human trafficking into the US from all over the world, which is on the route from Honduras to the Mexican/US border.
In retaliation of the caravan heading towards the US border, Trump attempted to change international law to prevent any of those who were fleeing their home countries from getting into the United States. However, despite his best efforts, Trump was unable to rewrite the 1965 Immigration and Nationality Act, which rules that any foreigner who arrives in the USA, “whether or not at a designated port of arrival,” may apply for asylum. This means that an illegal immigrant may enter the United States and apply for asylum once they are in the country.
In what was a race to create an executive order before they arrived at the border, President Trump tried to overrule those rules, signing a presidential proclamation ending the ability of migrants to request asylum if they enter the country illegally. However, a United Nations treaty signed in 1951 by the United States states “refugees should not be penalized for their illegal entry” because extreme situations sometimes “require refugees to breach immigration rules.”
To protect the rights of those in the caravan fro Honduras,on the 20thof November, U.S. District Judge Jon Tigar has venerated this law by issuing a temporary restraining order, meaning the administration is forbidden from enforcing the new rules until the court case proceeds on Dec. 19. Which means that refugees from Honduras can seek asylum and refuge for now.