US under fire: Real consequences of Trump missing vital target exposed

Young men, women and children are attempting to resettle in the US, with thousands attempting to flee their homes in Central America due to ongoing violence in places such as Guatemala. The US, and its President Donald Trump, has previously vowed to allow 18,000 asylum seekers in during the current fiscal year but with just one month left to meet its target, it appears uncertain whether this will be reached. So far, just 7,900 asylum seekers have been granted access to the US, a country which before Mr Trump had a proud history of welcoming an average of 95,000 into the nation every year.

The IRC recently revealed how the US had been “violating international and domestic laws” as it failed to reach its pledge, while also not allowing enough people to seek asylum within the nation.

But speaking to, Hans Van de Weerd, IRC vice president for US Programmes, explained there will likely be no fallout for the US should it not reach its “historically low” target.

He said: “There is no immediate penalty.

“What could happen, and will likely happen, is Congress may ask the administration questions about this. Then a senior official has to come to the house to explain this but that really is the amount of penalty.

“And given the that the Senate is Republican controlled and hasn’t been acting by providing any insight on this administration, there is no real accountability here.”

The IRC explained that the US’ current policy is to turn asylum seekers away and “send them back into danger”, and that prior to the coronavirus outbreak, Mr Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols policy forced asylum seekers to wait in Mexico to make their case.

Yet, in a move that shocked many humanitarian groups, like the IRC, Mr Trump announced in March his country would turn away all non-US citizens, something that was legally unjust.

In a press release, the IRC said: “Blocking asylum seekers from entering the US to seek protection is in violation of domestic and international laws, even in these unprecedented times.

“Local communities in northern Mexico have made valiant efforts to welcome those turned away at the border, but services are overwhelmed and asylum seekers often find themselves at on-going risk of violence and persecution.

“Asylum seekers who do make it into the US are often held in detention centres with track records of neglect for sanitation, medical care and personal safety.

“While US Immigration and Customs Enforcement is likely under reporting COVID-19 infection rates in these detention centres, data suggests that over 20 percent of those tested are coming back positive for the virus.

“US policy decisions during the pandemic should be informed by public health best practices. Current asylum policies do not pass that test. Instead, they put asylum seekers in additional danger while doing nothing to make the US safer.”

Mr Van de Weerd explained that the rules broken are within the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, which is there to give protection for people seeking asylum and “is enshrined in law”.

He said that in domestic law there are prescribed steps for asylum to be granted to those seeking it, after which a decision can be made, although this process is not being correctly followed.


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