Do You Care About the Rule of Law? Then Act Like It

In his attempt to seal the border, President Trump is making a mockery of America’s asylum laws.


Comments: 220

  1. "Opponents of immigration have long had one rallying cry: rule of law! But most of the people seeking asylum at the Adelanto Detention Facility followed the law to a T."

    What a harrowing tale told by Sonia Nazario. I'm stunned that details such as these don't make it to Congress which should not only be providing oversight of these matters, but correcting them or passing comprehensive immigration reform.

    This situation mirrors the Japanese interment or the rejection of European Jews during World War II but seems worse because an entire political party is complicit in its continuance.

    America has lost its humane, spirited defense of the downtrodden, adopting cruelty and indifference in the hopes of discouraging asylum seekers.

    It has to be a gory hell in their countries of origin that these people would prefer to take their chances at the border rather than return to an almost certain death.

    The Trump administration is figuratively crossing its arms and saying, no, no more room, we don't want you, go back home because we don't want your kind here.

    Unbelievable for a nation of immigrants.

  2. I am deeply saddened and horrified by these stories. As a Texas resident, I was preparing my letters to my representative and Senator about the article, and I had to take a look at the law she referenced about the right to apply for Asylum.

    If I am reading Act 208 correctly, the law specifies that qualification for asylum means that the individual has to be a refugee. Qualifications for being a refugee are related to "race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion."

    Domestic and gang violence don't fit neatly into the law. These cases need to rely upon arguments that women and the poor are particular and vulnerable social groups. That's the discussion that needs to be taking place for the issue to be rebranded as "asylum" rather than illegal immigration.

    By calling the article "Do Your Care About the Rule of Law? Then Act Like It," Ms. Nazario has a responsibility to connect the horrors that these people are fleeing to the law, and to highlight how these people are effectively refugees. She has dramatized the stories of these people, but she has not charted a course for applying the Rule of Law. More articles and research are needed to effectively make the case.

  3. That is such a false, unfair opinion. If we're so terrible why are people dying to get in?

  4. Thank you for a courageous and articulate description of what is and what should be. "Desperate people can't b deterred" -think of the desperation of so very many Americans coming here in the 19th century to escape the Irish Famine, persecution in Europe, all of us huddled masses yearning to be free. These are the folks that made America in so many senses. There were bad results -Mr. Trump is but one example- but there were also so very many wonderful things that came from that open door. It can happen again. America, you are so much more than crying children forcibly separated from their parents. Let's fix this.

  5. This conversation needs to evolve. The reporting here is fine but it leaves unsaid a critical issue: There is a smoldering war in Central America that’s coming at us leaving refugees on our doorstep. We need to deal with the root cause not the refugee effects. That probably means an incursion or at least assistance in keeping the peace in those countries for a while. It also means taking down the cartels because they’ve become too big and powerful. We are repeating the mistake of Syria in accepting refugees rather than dealing with Assad and Putin. It won’t get better and the longer we wait the tougher it will be.

  6. So, Denis, in the meantime, the refugees are on their own. Isn’t that essentially what your post is saying?

  7. Nothing says we can't handle refugees at the same time as trying to straighten out the situation in Central America. A boatload of compassion won't stop the flood of refugees. Gotta do both attack the root cause and deal with refugees.

  8. If you want to "take down the cartels," then legalize drugs in this country. By legalizing them, you can control their use, and bring money IN by taxing them,
    instead of pouring millions down the drain with little
    result.

  9. One can believe in the rule of law, but also understand that it can be subverted. We have a president who wants to do away with due process for some, but touts SCOTUS appointments approved by the Federalist Society. He does not have much use for a free press, unless it facilitates his use of xenophobic and mendacious rants, broadcast every day.

    Our current president's disdain for and manipulation of the law have been noted: "Donald Trump and the Rule of Law," by J. Toobin, 6 Jan 2018, The New Yorker.

    The rule of law can be used as a weapon, something that occurs throughout history. We see this not only at our southern border, but in our courts where collective bargaining is gutted in favor of corporate interests. It is hard to escape the central role of well-paid lawyers from elite schools in all of this.

    This is not a plea for lawlessness. And immigration problems are not confined to the USA.

    When we have a dominant party who appear to believe that the ends justify the means, we get into trouble. These problems can be moderated, can be fixed. But it does not happen overnight, and it will not happen if people do not go out and vote.

  10. Trump's view of the rule of Law as G &S might have put it

    My name is Donald Trump, I’m nominating Kavanaugh,
    He’ll have my back according to the article I saw,
    His other views are lagniappe, Conservative of course,,
    In view of that I’d nominate him if he were a Horse,
    Now Mueller has me sweating, I’m afraid of what he knows,
    And I’ll be hit with perjury if I have to depose,
    I know Brett will support me, I read just what he wrote
    It’s made my nights much pleasanter, and on a happy note,
    And I know just why!

  11. Beautifully apt as usual, but you've made a small mistake: Trump read?

  12. Larry Eisenberg I enjoy your comments and the form you use to express them a pleasure. This one however was genius. Thanks.

  13. We need to start practicing democracy, that is, treating our own citizens with compassion and equality. Then we must use our democracy as a model and a guide to helping our southern neighbors find their own democracy. If we don’t practice our democracy, upon which our laws are based, in this country, it makes sense that we ignore it in other countries.

  14. These types of articles, which are filled with emotional finger pointing, do nothing to solve the real problem that asylum seekers suffer- the social and economic breakdown in their home countries. If Americans open fully their boarders to asylum seekers line waiting to come in would be endless and the problems of resettling these people would be monumental. If democrats are truly moved by their plight they need to look further south of the border and be willing to tackle the issue at its source. Rather than spending billions of dollars to help wealthy European nations to defend themselves Americans need to put their money where their hearts bleeds.

  15. "Americans need to put their money where their hearts bleeds."

    Sounds great to me! Please pressure your Republican overlords to make it happen.

  16. @Raul Campos: That is a false dichotomy. We have plenty of money; we've just chosen to spend it on tax cuts for billionaires and corporations. The source of the problem is here, in the U.S. We can solve it without invading anyone.

  17. The source of the problem in Central American that creates all these refugees (not a large number, by the way; actually 3 or 4 football stadiums, about 300,000 people this year) is largely the U.S. First, by supporting oppressive oligarchies that exploit and tyrannize their people. Second, by financing the drug trade that pays for the gangs that terrorize citizens there. The cure for the first is obvious. The cure for the second is drug legalization here in the U.S., the largest market, and soon, before it's too late because the gangs have built larger markets in Mexico and other countries.

    I have not supported legalization in the past, but I no longer see any other solution besides militarizing our country and most of our southern neighbors, at the cost of ending the remaining aspects of democracy we still have.

  18. Article 1 of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, as amended by the 1967 Protocol, defines a refugee as:

    'A person who owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it.'

    If married women, common law wives and girlfriends who claim they have been battered by their male partners are all now to qualify as a social group, then we might as well tear up the Convention.

  19. Adherence to 'rule of law' is a flexible concept, completely absent from US drivers.

  20. The "Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees" is a treaty signed in 1951 by 145 United Nations members. It It is a multilateral treaty that defines who is a refugee, and sets out the rights of individuals who are granted asylum and the responsibilities of nations that grant asylum. According to this treaty, Mexico is in gross violation.

    The trip from the Guatemalan border to the US border, through Mexico, is ~ 2000 miles. The moment that Guatemalans, or any other citizen of a Central American country crosses the Mexican border, ultimately seeking asylum status, per international agreement, should have their cases reviewed in Mexico, by the Mexican government. But instead, rather than abide by an international treaty, the Mexican government allows them safe passage through their country and then publicly shames the US for stopping them at the border, and processing them in a legal and orderly fashion.

    I have been working and paying taxes for 46 years. I wish I was treated by the US government as well as illegal immigrants are treated. I too would seek asylum in the US. Free: food, shelter, clothing, welfare, education and medical care. And a government that will shelter you if you enter or stay illegally. Who *wouldn't* take advantage of that? Most people around the world want to live the American Dream, but many do not want to pay their dues as tax-paying citizens and legal aliens do.

  21. Thank you for this horrifying but very illuminating piece. I had not seen the immigration crisis presented in these terms before.

    Now tell us what specifically we can do to help.

    Marching in the streets has no impact on this administration--they do not care at ALL about the public opinion of us east coast liberals.

    Obviously we all need to vote (not that my NYC vote will make any difference, but yes, I do it anyway). So, what else? What nonprofits are doing the best job fighting this? What else can we do?

  22. Amen, we should be holding our mighty corporations accountable, they have so much money from their tax cuts, since they are not giving workers a wage increase. Where is their social sense of responsibility. Hit them in their bottom line and go after wall street. Why isn't Facebook doing something to assist in finding these three thousand children. they are so wonderful why isn't Musk instead of going to Mars working with the government at solutions for the horrors of these countries. What are these tech leaders doing?
    This is the worst of capitalism just thinking about what I have and what you don't.
    Immigration reform has been talked about for the last thirty years, the GOP has sat on their hands and done nothing, the parties refuse to work together because of the constant rejections of ideas.
    Zero tolerance created this issue and zero tolerance by the public and pressure on corporate America, we might be able to get something done.

    Every woman has the right to a good life in every country so I don't want to hear about the legal way. When your dead your dead so lets all grow up and do the right thing.

  23. I cared about the rule of law when Bush v. Gore happened, but no one else did. The Dems didn't fight back. I cared about the rule of law when McConnell refused to hold hearings for Merrick Garland, but no one else did. The Dems didn't fight back. I cared when the media played up a Russian-owned real estate developer with $100M of free publicity. No one else did. The Dems ignored the hot buttons he pushed and didn't even show up in the crucial swing states. Now you want a fight for illegal immigrants? Still waiting for the Dems to care about US citizens. You can take a number and get in line.

  24. Rule of law is a joke. I walk out of my house in NYC and pass thousands of people breaking the law. One in 15 people are illegal immigrants. Half the people on food stamps and housing assistance are working off the books and in reality don't qualify for assistance. Thousands of people are driving without proper driver's licenses and insurance including registering cars in states which protect illegal immigrants. Probably half the legal drivers are committing some form of fraud against their insurance companies. Illegal electric bicycles are sipping up and down streets often used for deliveries. U-turns are illegal but you can't take a drive without seeing 3 or 4. The IRS does not compare people's spending with their reported incomes allowing tax evasion. Religious institutions act as giant money laundering operations, Racial and religious discrimination in business and government is rampant. Government jobs are used as a giant spoils system for insiders. The list goes on and on. Rule of Law, what a joke.

  25. Trump's great immigration lie is that the people he wants to afford no due process are illegal immigrants when they are largely asylum seekers. He pooh-poohs that notion saying that the ones put before immigration judges have been coached in what to say, as if he weren't champion of having lawyers instruct him how to lie and to evade the spirit of the law by distorting its letter. Does he wish to deny people due process and legal representation. We all know the answer to that: No!
    Trump wants "strong laws," meaning the ability to do whatever he pleases and to deny the rights afforded by the Constitution's Bill of Rights. Trump admires "strong leaders". That seems to mean ruthless dictators. So the circle closes; those that are trying to escape the tyranny of ruthless dictators shouldn't come to the United States because it now is no longer a beacon of freedom, home of the free, land of the brave, but a cowering cowardly lot lorded over by a dictator who is audacious enough to name his son Bar(r)on.

  26. U.S. asylum law makes only a person who has “a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” eligible for asylum. A person who fears spousal abuse or gang violence is not eligible for asylum in the United States. The law empowers presidents to grant asylum in special circumstances, but as the article points, the present administration has announced that gang violence — the most commonly cited reasons for fleeing Central America—does not qualify someone for asylum.

    U.S. asylum law states that the “burden of proof is on the applicant.” An applicant “must establish that race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion was or will be at least one central reason for persecuting the applicant.” As a rule, immigration judges can make quick decisions because few asylum applicants can present any evidence that they fear persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. Judges are also familiar with conditions in Central American nations. They know Central American nations are not persecuting asylum applicants on of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or—with rare exceptions—political opinion.

  27. Mr. Case is right about the criteria in the asylum law, but dead wrong about a dearth of persecution on the basis of political opinion in Latin America. The crashing irony is that the United States has for a couple of generations (at least) propped up despots who illegally displaced democratically elected leaders. In short, many people have historically fled the regimes our government put in place or propped up, only to face a place of refuge rejecting their asylum applications on the basis of 'law and order.'

  28. Part of the problem is that migrants have been gaming the system for so long it's like the boy who cried wolf. How can we tell who is really threatened and who is just saying that to "get a better life?" When we know that migrants are being schooled to say what they need to say to get in, how can we trust the law anymore? I think 106,010 people in 9 months IS getting to be a flood, and I am sure we will have more birthright citizens coming from that number. I recommend that NYT readers read Philip Cafuto's "How Many is Too Many," a progressive argument for reducing immigration into the United States.

  29. Unless you're an indigenous person (American Indian), relatives somewhere in your family tree 'gamed the system' to get into this country.
    Maybe those who present this argument should ask themselves why it was ok then, for them, but is not now.

  30. Thanks so much for the link on asylum. It says quite clearly they could "APPLY" for asylum, and we have to accept that application under certain circumstances. Accepting the application doesnt mean we are under ANY obligation to GRANT asylum. I actually spent the few minutes reading it because I knew there was a problem with your article on the outset. We are under no obligation to accept anyone. There is no law that says the US MUST allow people into our country. Being an American is not a right, Ms Nazario. It also says we dont have to accept their application if they could be find safe haven in another country. So what about Mexico, Ms Nazario? Why cant they just stay there? Thats a big question, isnt it? For if they cant, why not? Why wont Mexico let them stay? If they are fleeing Mexico, which is doubtful since many Americans actually vacation there, then that means Mexico is a dangerous place, and we should have extreme vetting for anyone attempting to enter from there. Maybe even a wall? Considering border patrol arrests over 34,000 foreigners EACH MONTH attempting to enter illegally, not to mention, our border is so porous, thousands of children have waltzed across the border in the past few weeks, then were so "cruelly" separated from their parents when they were arrested, a wall actually looks necessary.. Sorry Sonia, but your interpretation of the law falls flat when anyone takes the 2 minutes to read your link.

  31. "You are either for the rule of law, or you’re against it."

    The GOP in general, and the Trump administration in particular, distort or deliberately bend laws to fit their own political purposes. They know their devoted followers remain willfully ignorant of laws so that cherished fairy tales can float freely above the cesspool of evidence that would stain the lily-pure moral of their story.

    Unfortunately, the GOP and Trump will ignore any and all critiques, written or otherwise. They only understand raw power, and until they are stripped of that power, they will do as they please. So stripping them of power is Job Number 1. Once their power is gone, prosecute them to the maximum extent permitted by law, all the while shouting "Rule of law!" Delivering a strong dose of their own medicine will do the country a world of good.

  32. I don't find that Nazario cares about the rule of laws. There shouldn't be such large numbers of immigrants coming from other countries: (1) they should fix their own countries not run away (2) they should emigrate to countries closer to their native countries that are Spanish-speaking and closer to their attitudes culturally speaking. (3) It is the immigrants who are illegally immigrating who are disregarding laws, so if Nazario really cares about law enforcement she should be laying the major responsibility for breaking the laws at the feet of illegal immigrants. (4) Being "cruel" doesn't mean it is illegal. Does Nazario care about law enforcement or about being kind? They are not usually the same thing.

  33. Did you miss the part about it not being illegal to seek asylum in the United States? And it's a pretty tall order to ask somebody who is being targeted for death to simply stay someplace and "fix their country." Would you have given the same advice to Jewish refugees in the 1930s?

  34. Many, many undocumented workers pay into the Social Security system without any hope of recouping what they've put into it. They are, in fact, paying their dues.

  35. There is asylum and there is due process. People can seek asylum in churches, another city, or another country. But there needs to be an orderly process, not simply illegally crossing a border. These people need to be stopped at the border until they can provide some justification that would support their cause. They should know better than drag their small children with them. If the illegal immigrants care about the rule of law, then they need to act like it!

  36. So, these people leave their children behind in the mayhem and other problems while they try to enter this country? Maybe you ought to rethink what you've said. I'd rather come here illegally, with my children, than stay behind and die. Wouldn't you?

  37. Thank you, Sonia, for a powerful, clear-eyed explanation of the illegal actions going on at every level of the government. Unfortunately, most Americans don’t understand that we have laws protecting those seeking asylum. The bigger issue is that the administration is deliberately conflating asylum seekers, illegal border crossers, and criminal gangs. Unfortunately, the media typically refer generally to “immigrants” without educating readers about these important distinctions and what laws should be followed. I hope the NYT will make these distinctions in future reports and explain the federal laws governing asylum seekers.

  38. I came to the comments section to say exactly this. Immigrants, refugees, and asylum seekers are legally distinct groups, each with specific rights and criteria for entry. Under the international laws that we in the U.S. helped create, the latter two groups cannot simply be turned away, if that means returning them to a place where their lives would be in danger. This includes turning away a Salvadoran asylum seeker who would be at risk in Mexico due to international gang activity. When the language we use is degraded and co-opted, innocent people suffer.

    NYT, please take the lead in educating your own readers, at the very least.

  39. Do you happen to have a link? A single, puny statistic? Doubtful. And no, Fox News doesn't count.

  40. Do you happen to have a link? A single, puny statistic? Doubtful. And no, Fox News doesn't count.

    Also, immigrants and refugees are not the same thing. You do not have to be a refugee to enter the country, but refugees are entitled to enter the country until the danger in their home country has passed.

  41. Donald Trump & Jeff Sessions are insecure deluded narcissists. That's nothing new. But they've now managed to inflict their pathology on the immigration bureaucracy charged with dealing with vulnerable human beings seeking help, turning US policy into a punishment tool designed to degrade and debase the unhappy individuals who believed they would be treated fairly by a country of immigrants. They've also managed to degrade and debase the country. Schoolyard bullies, not fit for any office.

  42. While I can empathize with the asylum seekers, we can't just let everyone in from poor countries. If we let everyone in who claimed spousal abuse or gang violence, half the world would come here and claim asylum. Whose going to pay for it? Many of these people will need government assistance. I was born and have worked and paid into social security for more than 35 years in this country. I hope to retire in a few years. don't want people like the author deciding that my social security money should go to immigrants.

  43. Your social security money will go to you. You earned it. That's how it works.

  44. Partially true. It surprised me to find out that our gov gives SS money to immigrants from other countries who never paid into the system. They are tough on American citizens but just hand it out to immigrants. And when SS runs short whose benefits do you think they will cut?

  45. clearly you don't understand how social security works. today's workers pay in to the pool that your check draws from. Immigrants pay in even though they will never be allowed to draw unless they become citizens. Seasonal workers don't want to be citizens.But they pay SS anyway. Most immigrants work hard and support themselves. selfish people are not asked to support them. Good Christians believe we should help our neighbors. clearly you don't. ok. your social security check is determined by the amount you earned and paid in, and by your age when you file to receive it. There is a household cap of 2500 per month. Immigrants have no effect on that. Save up now. Blaming innocent people because you failed to plan ahead is scapegoating.

  46. According to Sessions, being beaten nearly to death by one's spouse is not a legitimate reason to seek asylum in the US. Neither is fleeing thugs who have either threatened or have actually killed members of one's family. If these don't qualify a person for asylum, what does? We need a list. They owe us, the American people, at least that much so that we can understand what is being done in our names. I have to admit I am both shocked and deeply disappointed to learn that a nation that claims to be an exemplar of Christianity is not only content to sit on the sidelines while desperate people try to escape mayhem but are participating in perpetuating the maelstrom. And we call ourselves manKIND. What a misnomer.

  47. Apparently, only countries willing to fully support every facet of your life for free on the backs of citizens are "safe enough".

  48. I was a refugee once. My mother and her family are Colombian and I grew up partly in Latin America. I had to flee to Europe with my mother and my brother for a period of a few weeks when members of my family were targeted by a kidnapping rings. It wasn't a true asylum case, in that we only stayed abroad for the length of an extended vacation, however, I know what it's like to flee from danger. The US is being asked to adhere to standards which no other country in the world is obliged to. We're being scolded by liberal activists for not simply reducing the operational discipline of our national security to the phrase "I'll take your word for it."

    We could make an interesting thought experiment. See how many other countries extend you asylum when you show up at their ports of entry, and apply without documentation or anything to corroborate your claim. Better yet, head to any Latin American country and try your luck.

    As long as we're discussing lowering standards of proof in government restrictions, shouldn't gun sellers be allowed to opt out of conducting background checks on customers who claim that they're the victims of spousal abuse or gang violence? Shouldn't we set aside any and all suspicions and simply take their word for it? After all, these customers could face certain bodily harm if they're denied a weapon...and we wouldn't want to re-victimize these persons by requesting some sort of evidence like a police report or a restraining order...

  49. Domestic violence that is perpetrated precisely because the victim is a woman, in a country where the marriage is an immutable condition, and where the government will not or can not act to end the violence is grounds for asylum. That's considerably more qualified a test than just the violence by itself, and that is considered to be persecution involving the government because the government is either deliberately or powerlessly complicit.

    It's a myth that anyone is getting asylum just for having been hit, or just because there are gangs. All the tests are multi-prong tests and reflect genuine human rights failures in the country of origin of which the applicants are genuine victims.

    The last attempted estimate on people coming from Central America was on unaccompanied minors (officially unaccompanied alien children). UNHCR estimated 73% of them qualified. The only other metric on these particular arrivals is that if they have a lawyer, about 50% qualify.

    Two of these Central American countries implemented 'get tough policies which directly caused an explolsion of violence, and metastasized the gangs there, they are not that different than militia in other parts of the world, and just as violent and cruel.

  50. He had and has no intention of being a law and order president. He has always been on the shady side of the law. But Trump is trying his best to put Putin law in place for us. That way he can rule over his kingdom while working for his lord and master. For whatever reason, Trump is afraid of Putin. Regardless of the reason, however, the outcome will be the same. Trump will carry out Putin's wishes with glee.

  51. If the words of the poem by Emma Lazarus, engraved in the base of the Statue of Liberty, were law, then there would have been no immigration problem. Economic and political reality demands it not to be so. Added to that is atavistic xenophobia of the cave man, standing his own against other tribes. Perhaps a choice of the place of residence on Earth is one of the fundamental Rights of Humans, but should not the rights of the indigenous people, to live with others "like them", be also considered?

  52. Anybody can make up a sad story. And if it’s true, the trouble will follow them here, becoming our problem. Close the border, build the wall.

  53. Most people here illegally overstay visas. Building the wall will do nothing to stop that.

  54. Sadly, I see the result of Trumps rhetoric about asylum seekers and immigrants taking hold in the comments posted here. I agree with some that assisting central american nations establish effective rule of law would be very beneficial I can also recognize that desperate people will not be deterred from trying to find safe haven, wall or no wall. In the same circumstances we would do the exact same thing. There is obviously much misunderstanding about the immigration issue.

  55. Speaking of the "rule of law" according to international law those seeking asylum are to seek asylum in the first safe country. They are not to travel to the country of their choice and then seek asylum. Those seeking asylum from Central America should seek asylum in safe Costa Rica or Mexico not travel through Mexico to come to the United States.

  56. Sonia Nazario states, “It is illegal to bar people seeking asylum from our ports of entry, but we have effectively done just that.” But the United States isn’t barring asylum seekers from legal ports of entry.

    The Trump administration’s decision to replace the “Catch and Release” policy with a “Zero Tolerance” policy produced a surge of asylum seekers at legal ports of entry. Many migrants who had intended to cross illegally went instead to the legal ports of entry. Some ports of entry are busier than others. When the lines of asylum seekers grow too long, officials tell those at the back of the line they should come back tomorrow. But this happens only at the busier ports of entry. The lines will quickly grow shorter once asylum seekers adjust to the reality that spousal abuse or fear of gang violence no longer qualifies then for asylum.

    The United States should change its asylum laws to permit asylum seekers to apply for asylum at U.S. consulates and embassies in their home country, thereby sparing them the long journey to the U.S. border, but advocacy groups would oppose the change. They want a return to the Catch and Release policy because it permitted illegal border crossers to reside for years in the United States while awaiting their court dates. In Houston, the hearing are now scheduled nearly five year in the future.

  57. Ah, but kind sir, they are barring asylum seekers from ports of entry.

  58. If women qualify as a social group, so do men. This would make 100 percent of the global population eligible for asylum in the United States.

  59. There seems not to be much difference between the gang violence in Central America than the flippant “get over it” attitude that migrants encounter by Border Patrol agents and while they’re detained in facilities across the country.

    The photo of the migrant caravan that accompanies this piece puts the immigration issue in one small but telling capsule. These families are non-white, poverty-stricken and desperate, and the youngsters and babies represent the changing demographics of America in the coming decades. These immigrants represent the flood of Latinos who will eventually become the largest minority bloc in the US. It’s obvious why the president, Congress and Jeff Sessions don’t want them in the country. The credible fear of these asylum seekers means nothing to them.

  60. The sad thing is that these stories are probably true for hundreds of millions of people around the world and the sad fact is we can't take them all. That's just the plain and simple truth--I'm sure these horrific stories exist in every country around the world, including ours--we simply do not have the ability to take in everyone. I wish we could but we simply cannot.

    One thing I never quite understood about seeking asylum in the US is that we allow those who can get here on foot to present themselves at our border to seek asylum. This means that we automatically favor people from South America since they're the only ones who can present themselves at our border without any legal way to get here. People from Africa, Europe, Asia, and Australia can't even get to our borders because they would be prevented from boarding the plane to begin with (well, not people from Europe or Australia since we let them in without a visa) but doesn't that seem highly discriminatory and prejudiced?

  61. Only the NYT could take a cross border issue of rule of law and turn it into a feminist cause. But there it is. Whether or not asylum should apply to domestic abuse, as a a matter of law, opens up all issues of family dysfunction. You can't pick and choose your victims here, as much as feminists would like to. But another layer of complexity involves other areas of our society where the rule of law is being ignored, such as dismissal of due process among the vigilante column of the #Metoo movement. If we respect the rule of law we can't be selective in who it applies to. It should be there to protect us all.

  62. I'm all for legal immigration and asylum. But what did Obama do? If, in fact, it was better, why not mention the methods during the years he was in office? He did deport over 2 million.

  63. Most Americans welcome legal immigrants, but not illegal aliens.

    US laws allow foreigners (aliens) to seek entry and citizenship. Those who do not follow these laws are in this country illegally (i.e., illegal aliens) and should be detained and deported; this is policy in other countries, too.

    We cannot afford to support our own citizens: the poor, the ill, elderly, disabled, veterans, et al. It is therefore utterly impossible for US taxpayers to support the millions of foreigners who would like to come to the US.

    The cruelty lies not in detaining and deporting illegal aliens, or forcing those who wish to enter the US to wait for processing. What is cruel, unethical and probably illegal is encouraging parents to bring their children on the dangerous trek to US borders and teaching parents how to game the system to enter the US by falsely claiming asylum, persecution, abuse, etc.

    Abolishing ICE makes sense only to advocates of open borders, a policy no nation will ever approve. We will lose the mid-terms and 2020 elections if open borders becomes part of the Democratic platform.

  64. Border agents who break the law should face the legal consequences. If they behave in disrespectful ways towards people seeking entry for legitimate reasons, they should be fired.

  65. Evangelicals and other so called Christians are complicit in this violation of human rights and further violation of the basics tenets of our foundation. The right wing has gone on a rampage against illegal immigration and is now lumping all immigration into the same pot. I hold Christian religions responsible for this debacle - they're happy to align themselves with an authoritarian who is erasing separation of church and state and taking away the rights of citizens as well.

  66. Not all Christians are aligned with Trump. Using that sweeping brush to paint an entire category of people is the same as what Trump has done re immigrants, progressives, etc.

  67. You never hear about them in the Times but many Christian denominations are in no way aligned with Trump. The Evangelicals are in a category of their own.

  68. It’s like abortion and kids - the GOP doesn’t want abortions, but also doesn’t want to pay welfare to poor families with kids. They can’t have it both ways. Similarly, one either follows The Law or one doesn’t. You don’t get to cherry-pick based on your preferences.

  69. It should be intuitively obvious to most casual observer that one does not cure a disease by attempting to cure it symptoms. The women and children showing up at our border are symptoms of a disease whose problems are entire attributable to those countries, government, culture that causes them to run from their own countries as if their hair is on fire. True progressives should not be hoodwinked into believing otherwise; if the disease isn't addressed, we will continually suffer the symptoms--until they become fatal. When women and children run away from you, it's you, not them. The US isn't a panacea for the world's ills, not a wet nurse for everyone's problems. It is the 21st century. Countries need to begin acting like it. Responsibility to one's own citizens should be a priority and a right, a human right. This is the unstated real Rule of Law--the Law that says to treat your women, children and men as human beings. To act or believe, or dance around this fact is disingenuous and, frankly, dangerous. For people to believe this is America's fault is intellectually dishonest and does nothing to address the root of the disease.

  70. It is rather sad that you are completely oblivious to our own government's pernicious role in creating these conditions. Cartels and drug violence are products created in the US and exported south along with profitable traffic in arms to sustain them. Our country has a long and clearcut role in supporting dictators in these countries along with generous assistance from our military. You decry progressive thought, but turn a blind eye to any facts that contradict your positions.

  71. You treat a broken arm, and it heals. Symptom, or disease?

    Entirely, you say. The drug trade here — Americans buying cocaine — have no culpability? No role in the violence in Mexico and Guatemala? This is the 21st century, as you say. Where have you been?

    We could do more, sure, to treat the disease. We could end the war on drugs, for one thing. We could do more to stabilize those governments and stem the lawlessness. We could, and we should.

    Meanwhile, and no matter what, asylum seekers do and will show up at our border. Is it so much to ask that we treat them as human beings, that we take their case seriously, that we follow our own laws, and advise them of the process?

  72. Trump et. al. still believe in the rule of law--they just also believe that Trump _is_ law.

  73. Sonia Nazario states “It is illegal to penalize asylum seekers, but we have criminally prosecuted them for “illegal” entry and violated their rights to due process by taking away their children.” In support of her statement, she provides a link to an article that references the United Nations 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees.

    Article 31 of the convention (Refugees Unlawfully in the Country of Refugee) says: "The Contracting States shall not impose penalties, on account of their illegal entry or presence, on refugees who, coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened in the sense of Article 1, enter or are present in their territory without authorization, provided they present themselves without delay to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence."

    With few exceptions, migrants who cross the U.S. border illegally do not qualify as refugees under Article 1 of the convention. They are not coming directly from a territory where their life or freedom was threatened; they are coming from Mexico or Canada. And none of them can show good cause for their illegal entry. Applying for asylum at legal ports of entry is much easier, safer and cheaper than rafting the Rio Grande or trekking across the Chihuahuan or Sonoran desert.

  74. No one really knows the true numbers of immigrants on our Southern border. We've seen reports that suggest the total number of immigrants coming from Mexico and points South have decreased over the last few years. With the uptick in gang-related violence in Central American countries which destroys families, many of the newer immigrants could be higher in number than those who just want to visit relatives (and are turned away even if properly documented at border crossings) or wish to seek any employment which is even close to sustaining themselves and their families.

    Compassion is the root to a solution to the problem we now see with immigration. Maybe, we should, after criminal background checks, allow those who pass that test, to enter the US? What have we to lose? Our country was and is founded on immigrants with many being "illegal" many generations back. How many jobs are these immigrants "taking away" from us? Very few, if any. These people perform jobs which none of us would ever want. Let's staff our legal border crossings with enough people and the humane and compassionate and legal tools to do the job and give these immigrants a chance. Maybe we would then see a dramatic reduction in illegal immigration.

  75. Canada? Asylum seekers at the southern border this year would fit in a stadium. Asylum seekers at the northern border would fit in a Volkswagen.

    I don't know about Article I, etc. I don't know anything, really, about refugee and asylum law. What I do know is this country has laws, and courts to enforce them, and judges to decide cases. I see no reason for me to judge the legality of the applicant's case, because I have a government. That's what my tax dollars are for.

  76. Law, what law? We're Americans and we do whatever we want, especially to the weak and poor, and declare that to be the law. This is a jungle, not a civilized nation. We like it that way. Witness how the Oregon ranchers were pardoned.

  77. I am a huge supporter of police and law enforcement employees in general, i appreciate their service. But the Border Patrol is pretty much dead to me. Or more correctly, like the undead to me. They are the zombies of law enforcement because they have shown themselves to be complicit in their violation of the rule of law and their cruelty in enacting the duties assigned by their evil masters. I think we're looking at a "spit in their food" situation for a long time with the Border Patrol. Do they know who is in the kitchen?

  78. There are only 5 grounds for seeking asylum: a reasonable fear of future persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group and political opinion. Attempting to escape poverty or widespread violence in your own country doesn’t qualify you for asylum. The vast majority of immigrants trying to enter the country don’t have a cognizable claim for asylum. Ms. Nazario knows this. The immigrants know this as well. So, encouraged by “immigration activists,” they game the system: arrive at the border, claim asylum, request a reasonable fear interview and then never show up for the interview.

    This article, which purports to set the reader straight on "the rule of law," does no such thing.

  79. Oops! You were doing so well, too!

    It's the "never" that gave you away.

    Most do in fact show up for their hearing. A pilot program under Obama, cancelled by Trump, hired caseworkers to monitor asylum applicants. At a cost of $36/day, 99% showed for their hearing.

    Ankle bracelets are more expensive, but also effective. Detention works, too, albeit at $900/day.

    So your "never" is less than 1%.

    As the article points out, this so-called flood would fit in the Superdome in New Orleans. We could handle it, if only we'd act like grownups. Just, you know, a matter of choice.

  80. So what the asylum-seekers have to prove, then, is that they qualify under one of your five grounds. Why not let them do try to do it? Why imprison them when they do? Would you like to be imprisoned while you sue someone for running into you with their car? How do you know they "never show up for the interview'? Is that why there are so many people in detention centers?

  81. Hey, Don L. from San Francisco,

    But the US Government may confer the status of refugee upon those fleeing harm in their home country. As refugees that would be given some protection.

    Check out the link below. And leave a little room in your heart to search the immigration code a little bit more deeply to find some legal means of helping these poor souls who, after all, our our fellow human beings. It is easy to find trivial and historically insignificant justification to turn away a person in need. It takes a bit more effort to find some historically redeemable means of taking them in.

    https://www.uscis.gov/humanitarian/refugees-asylum

  82. This is unbearable.

  83. When has this grifter ever shown respect for any law?

  84. I'm not sure Trump understand the difference between a refugee and an immigrant. And if he does understand the difference, it's even worse because he knowingly lumps them together as brown criminals that are not welcome in America.

  85. This administration does not care about the rule of law. To think otherwise is delusional.

  86. "Rule of Law" is a quaint concept in this administration. Pardons for Sheriff Arpaio and the Oregon ranchers whose defiance of federal land management set off the seizure of the Malheur Wildlife Refuge by an armed "militia", are messages to "The Base" that the concept of "Law" is fluid, is open to interpretation, and can often be ignored by both enforcers and citizens who are free to interpret the "Law" as they see fit.

    A president who asserts that Neo-Nazi demonstrators, one of whom ran his car into a crowd of demonstrators, killing one of them, are "fine people". A leader who encourages his rally audiences to rough up protestors, who defames journalists as "enemies of the people", is sending the message that might makes right.

    Demonizing minorities, immigrants, women and the poor is OK. Intimidation and bullying are tolerable when exercised against opponents of his administration or authorities defending any part of the "Rule of Law" that the "Emperor God" in the White House disdains.

    Does all this messaging by the Tweeter in Chief portend a growing trend of vigilantism, a dawning epoch of greed, cruelty, and neglect, of "Brown Shirts" in America? As our feckless leader might say, "We'll see".

  87. The entire premise of the article is false, and citing Vox was a nice touch.

    Asylum is the new Open Borders, folks. If Democrats ever want a shot at any of the three branches ever again, they need to get tough on immigration, ASAP.

  88. It ain't so just because you say it's so.

    Open Borders is a canard. No elected politician has proposed open borders. Everyone understands there can't be — and isn't — unlimited immigration. If you think it's easy to come here, just try sponsoring ONE person abroad to get a residential visa. I think that will change your mind.

    All the author is saying is that people applying for asylum deserve a hearing, under our own laws. What about that premise is invalid? Do you think that's not what the law is, or do you think we shouldn't act under the law?

  89. The perversion of the law was by wiley attorneys. I don’t think fear of gang violence in your barrio should qualify you for the same asylum that
    Hutu from Rawanda were requesting
    Or Christians from Egypt.
    Or Jews from former Soviet Union .
    Or democrats from Myanmar

    According to the law a refugee is some who is unwilling or unable to return to their country of nationality
    because of “persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion, or (B) in such special circumstances as the President after appropriate consultation (as defined in section 1157(e) of this title) law”

  90. What price will our government pay for violating our own asylum laws? These people are legal asylum seekers. They are allowed to come here to seek asylum. They are refugees. Would hope the NYT would place an article about the jailed babies on the front page until they are all returned. We are an international disgrace. Miller/Trump never intended to return these stolen babies. Now that the judge has said they must..they are still not really reuniting all of them. An identifying bracelet could have easily been used to track the parents and children! The anguish of the poor, desperate brown people pleases Trump's racist base. The babes are pawns in the game...an unspeakably cruel game.

  91. The most lawless president we've ever had talking about "the rule of law" should be told that the rule of law can only be respected if he stops making up laws that don't exist. Asylum seekers are not criminals and immigrants with children are not lawbreakers. The lawbreakers here are Trump, Sessions, ICE, HHS, the Border Patrol and anyone else separating children from their parents. The federal judge monitoring their failed attempts to reunify families should order the administration to pay $100,000 per day to every parent who is not reunified with his or her child by his deadline.

  92. Trump just pardoned Dwight Hammond Jr. and his son Steven Hammond. What does he care a out the rule of law?

  93. “The Rule Of Law?”

    I really hate to break it to you, but if Donald Trump is returned to the White House in 2020, the imprisoned immigrants will be joined by “undesirable” American citizens, and they won’t be part of Trump’s “base.”

    If you think I’m being hysterical, stop and reflect upon fairly recent world history. Think of one European country in particular that rounded up its “undesirables” under the direction of a populist “leader” who wished to return a Germany, diminished in self respect and humiliated by the ending of World War I, to some fancied history of greatness and pre-eminence.

    Don’t for a moment think that, with a president unfettered by law and aided by a complaisant and meekly docile Congress—not to mention a Supreme Court that would routinely rubber-stamp his excesses—that “it can’t happen here.”

  94. It’s difficult now to say the Pledge of Allegiance and mean it. We have become someplace else where the president coddles Putin and has disrespect for his own people, party, and country.

  95. The United States intervened in El Salvador, Guatemala and most recently Honduras. In the case of El Salvador, the United States never legitimized the refugees that were fleeing the civil war the US created and many remained as undocumented, growing up in gang-infested gun slinging neighborhoods in Los Angeles. Then Obama deported them. They have become the warlords in the vacuum left by the destruction of civil life and infrastructure. These are the “cartels” that are now extorting, terrorizing and killing people. These are the American bred terrorists who speak English and have made these countries the worse in the rates of femicide in the world. Now, we are turning away people who are trying to stay alive. This population is the third or fourth generation from Central America suffering the interventions of the United States.

  96. Research shows that most people from El Salvador are primarily interested in economic opportunities and reuniting with friends and family already in this country. Nearly six-in-ten said they would move to the US if they could including 28% who would move to the US even without any authorization.

    http://www.pewhispanic.org/2017/12/07/rise-in-u-s-immigrants-from-el-sal...

  97. The US has intervened all across the globe -- in Asia and the ME and we have accepted many more immigrants from south of the border than anywhere else. The deportation of gang members started way before Obama as the original gangs rose in the early 90s. We do have the right to deport violent criminals and maybe the fact that this population is so susceptible to gang participation shows they are not ready to be immigrants to this country either.

    I am not wholly unsympathetic to why young kids join gangs but there is always a choice at the end of the day. If you truly don't want that life, you do have ways out considering that we have structures and the rule of law here that would not side with the gangs over the victims.

  98. Trump and Sessions have gotten caught violating the law. They claim they are only doing what previous administrations had been doing. However, in so doing, they admit what they are doing is wrong. Like the person stopped by a state trooper for speeding, who claims that the car ahead of them was speeding first and should ticket them first. And so was the arresting officer was speeding too. And those radar devises were wiretapping private and personal proprerty (the car). And the government has no right to restrict the individual's First Amendment right to go (expression) as they please. And God, not state troopers determine the consequences and so far God seems just fine with speeding which even atheist physicists set at 186,000 mi/sec thank you very much. And if it's Trump who's behind the wheel, he'd add, "And I'll sue you for slander and defamation of character for your suggestion that I'd be the kind of person who would break the law!"

    Trump and Sessions do not deny what they do. They claim that National Security interests trump all other considerations (even if they can't show how national security is lessened with more legal treatments of asylum seekers). They also claim that the public wants them to break the law and democratically, mandates them and makes them scofflaws. They claim they are answering to a higher power. In my view, this disqualifies them as Americans, yet, even Roosevelt denied Jews assylum by claiming that Jews were likely spies.

  99. The current Republican administration has made a mockery of everything decent and inhumane. This is the tip of the iceberg. It gets worse from here.

    Amnesty for convicted felons who are right wing extremists and domestic terrorists was the latest tell. Caging asylum seekers and children was yet another.

    In eighteen months, this country has morphed into a Jonestown variant, with 'I alone can fix it' Trump barreling through the place like the leader of a demented cult, threatening to destroy whatever rules of decorum, laws, international alliances get in his way.

    We are running out of time to stop this ball from rolling downhill.

  100. I’m done with “rule of law.”

    Rule of law was devised by and is used by a people with no legitimacy whatsoever. Our white Anglo ancestors effectively stole this land from the original inhabitants, and then stole every single piece of land that these migrants are trying to get to from Mexico.

    Rule of law is nothing more than a ruse to protect white privilege and the winners of the citizen birth lottery.

    We need to trade “rule of law” for social justice and human rights. Borders are wrong, full stop! People have a right to come here, and the people who are already here should be ashamed by their unwillingness to share and open their borders!

  101. A nation with no laws or borders is not a nation. If you'd prefer to live in a lawless society then perhaps you'd be interested in moving to an area of mexico controlled by cartels.

  102. I'd love to know how many are collecting social security by claiming someone else's SSN.

  103. Trump owes Russians a lot of money and none of your faith in him changes that fact. NY banks stopped loaning to Trump more than a decade ago.

  104. "It’s one football stadium of people. We can afford that level of compassion in this country."

    Of course we can. Just place them in the pooreset neighborhoods who can afford it the least. And then pat ourselves on the back for our compassion. Rinse and repeat.

  105. Hey, rat,

    Fully 26% of the students in my son's high school were of Latino descent as of last year. We've had a ton of new immigrants from south of the border come to Logan, Utah over the past couple of decades (we even had an extremely traumatic raid at a meat packing plant south of our fair city a few years back). We really don't have a lot of poor areas that can't afford them here. And by all appearances, the immigrants are both assimilating and adding to the local culture.

    So, indeed, pat ourselves on the back (for the good sense to accept these hard working and honest people into the community). Rinse and repeat. We could use a new influx of them.

    And why not? The first large, permanent wave of pioneers of European descent in Utah were illegal immigrants to Mexico (This was actually the place for Mexico in 1847, Brother Brigham).

  106. Asylum can not be found in Mexico or Brazil? These countries are a lot closer?

  107. Perhaps those being pursued by domestic or gang abusers seek asylum in the US *because* of our strict entry laws. Mexico may allow the pursuers to cross their border.

  108. Maybe the asylum seekers know they won't be treated as well in Brazil or Mexico, maybe they will encounter some strict punishment for trying to claim asylum using lies.
    Why doesn't the NYT examine this question?
    It's worth knowing.

  109. I finally figured out where the money angle plays into this - the GEO Group is probably in bed with Trump and the GOP and have a sweetheart deal to make millions off of the "trumped up" immigration crisis. It all makes horrible sense now. We will pay for this as a country for decades as these children and their parents suffer the cruelty of soulless and cravenly greedy rich white men who put money ahead of morality/ethics.

  110. We were a country of laws. #45 is trying to turn the USA into a kleptocracy where the only rule is: "I gotta get the goods while the getting's good." Laws must go because they slow the Robber Barons down.

    Vote! Vote! Vote!

  111. Yes, we were a country of laws. #44 ordered federal law enforcement officials to ignore the ones he didn't agree with. Did you complain then? Bad precedent to set.

  112. The author writes compellingly about the dangers of domestic violence. Asylum is granted to those who are persecuted because of ”a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion,” or those who subject to torture “at the instigation of or with the consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity.” The private hell of a person subjected to domestic violence does not meet the asylum standard. Should it? It’s worthy of debate. It’s not the law now. If we want to expand the scope of protected refugees then we will need to amend 8 U.S. Code Sections 1101(a)(42)(A) and 1158(b)(1)(B)(i). Suggesting that those who follow the law don’t care about the law is an appeal in equity and unhelpful to those she asks us and the courts of law to embrace.

  113. "...consent or acquiescence of a public official or other person acting in an official capacity." Why should this not include police officers refusing to assist someone seeking help in cases of violence, whether criminal or domestic?

    Every day I hope that next day, I won't find another reason to be ashamed of my country. Nearly every day, I am disappointed. Why is our president insulting our allies? Why is he creating tariffs of dubious value? Why did he allow the U.S. to threaten Ecuador for daring to propose the WHO to encourage breastfeeding? And why is he separating families at the border, especially without sufficient planning to reunite them? If these children are not promptly returned to their parents, I call it kidnapping.

  114. I have been a Christian for 80-odd years, and I do not recognize my church in your description.

  115. Sad stories, yes, But asylum is granted in response to official persecution, not domestic violence or criminals. It’s not our responsibility to resolve every sob story and take every person in an unfortunate circumstance the world over. Central American countries are not persecuting their people. Virtually none of them should qualify for asylum no matter how sad their personal circumstance.

  116. The definition of compassion is: sympathetic consciousness of others' distress together with a desire to alleviate it. Our immigration laws were based on compassion but, as they continuously make obvious, the Trumpsters only care about themselves, and they remain willfully ignorant about the actual benefits (financial and other wise) that immigrants bring to our country. Read to get educated in order to make wiser choices based on empirical evidence rather than racism and sheer uninformed bias, start with https://www.bushcenter.org/catalyst/north-american-century/benefits-of-i...

  117. The problem is not the people seeking asylum who are following the rules, and Trump's harsh interpretation of those cases. The problem is the 20 million illegal immigrants in this country who are not respecting the rule of law. This is a strange article, ignoring the real issue.

  118. It's an article about a different issue.

  119. But it is the rule following asylum seekers who have had their children stolen from them.

  120. Trump is making a mockery of our asylum laws?

    How about phony "refugees" who are about nothing more than coming to the United States to plug into SNAP, our schools our emergency rooms, our WIC and take advantage of our economy -- then they fabricate a story that they are running from some 'violent gang' and claim refugee status.

    Those people are making a mockery of our asylum laws, our national sovereignty, and our immigration laws. 13 million illegal immigrants have made a mockery of our attempts to have an orderly system of deciding who should be treated as a REAL refugee.

  121. I thought we were done with 'whataboutism', but then again, defenders of the child abuse policy have little else to say.
    Let's stick to the point: the Trump administration is systematically violating our asylum laws.

  122. It sucks when people help themselves to the services in our country without contributing anything in return.

    From the September, 26 2016 Presidential debate:

    CLINTON: So you’ve got to ask yourself, why won’t [Trump] release his tax returns? …
    [M]aybe he doesn’t want the American people, all of you watching tonight, to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax.

    TRUMP: That makes me smart.

  123. Philboyd, do you know any refugee who are coming here just for SNAP and other reasons? If so where did this information come from? What are your sources? I'd be interested to know. There is a lot of misinformation as to why so many people are leaving Central America. I do believe a great many are fleeing inhuman treatment by their government or drug cartels. So where do the people you mention come from?

    Yes, America bills itself as "home of the brave and land of free". Why wouldn't that sound wonderful if you were fleeing for your life or even if you wanted a better life with more opportunities.

  124. Trump is voicing the feelings of many Americans when it comes to undocumented immigrants whether they request asylum or not. The same feelings were in evidence when the Nazis were busy exterminating Jews in Europe. Based upon history and what has been going on more recently in the world, I'd say that it doesn't matter how many barriers countries erect to keep out undocumented immigrants, those seeking asylum, or trying to reunite with their families; people will leave a place that is unsafe for them. Contrary to what we've been told, no one undertakes a journey as dangerous as crossing a desert alone or with help without the correct documents on a whim. You don't uproot a family for a trip that can kill them if your home country is safe. That's true whether it's domestic abuse that the police refuse to deal with or death threats because of your sexual preferences, religion, politics, etc.

    At the very least we could treat these people with dignity and give them a chance. We have millions to give in tax breaks to corporations and rich families/individuals who don't need more money. Surely we have something left for people who have risked everything to live in a safe country. (And also for those who live in America who aren't fortunate enough to be rich but that's a different story.)

  125. @hen3ry:

    Whether "we have something left for people who have risked everything to live in a safe country (and also for those who live in America who aren't fortunate enough to be rich...)" are not different stories, but the same story. The oligarchy that increasingly controls this country wants to take as much as it can for itself while it convinces everyone else that there is not enough to go around, leading everyone else - immigrants or native born - to fight among themselves for the scraps.

  126. The piece is written on the assumption that most asylum claims are valid, but in fact most asylum claims are rejected. It makes sense to hold people whose claims are statistically unlikely to succeed while the claims are processed. Sonia Nazario incorrectly thinks the rule of law means "Everybody gets in because I find them sympathetic."

  127. I believe everyone has made a mockery of our immigration laws.

    We've had multiple "reforms" done over the past decades that were never implemented.

    Politicians on both sides of the aisle were talking about the need to control the border and illegal immigration less than a decade ago. Today anything like that is viewed as racist.

    As Trump has gotten more severe on the subject, Democrats have moved further and further west.

    It seems like you are either for snatching sobbing toddlers from their parents or you're for giving everyone here illegally legal status, and welcoming everyone after that.

    Of course, there is a vast middle--but politicians representing that middle are few and far.

  128. If you are not a white christian conservative then you have no president. Our current white house occupant has no interest in your well being, in your physical or mental health, prosperity or security. You are basically unrepresented now. If we do not turn this around in November it will get worse. The bulwark of our democracy now falls on the shoulders of an 86 year old supreme court justice. As she goes, so do we. You should be scared, very scared.

  129. So, one more time, why don’t these refugees from Central America migrate to Mexico? And who can tell horrific true from horrific false? Shouldn’t a few journalists question why so many asylum seekers tell stories that might have been designed by New York immigration lawyers?

    Folks, if we’re concerned about the genuinely desperate, let’s just take in the entire population of South Sudan - and Yemen - and Syria - and .... I’m sorry; the world’s grown too small and too populous.

  130. Interesting. Police who fear for their lives are always believed.

  131. It is a matter of statistics. The vast majority of time Police are telling the truth. The vast majority of immigrants wanting asylum are lying.

  132. If our Congress won't do anything, perhaps the UN should look into these allegations.

  133. Who in their right mind thinks outsiders should have any say in US policy ????

  134. The Democrats are obsessed with open boarders and getting millions of new citizens to vote. They want more gov and taxes to control your life in new and innovative ways.
    They also are fixated on this Russian boogey man theory of "collusion". That appears to have simply been political advertising.

  135. I am stuck to read some of the comments which seem to point to South/Latin American countries as the sources of all their own ills, and thus should take responsibilities for it. Yes, there should be responsibility assigned to these countries, but we are also need to take responsibility for our substantial role in creating the mess some of the countries south of the border. The US created, in the most un-decomcratic fashion, several banana republics so we can benefit econmically from they subrogation. In addition, long history of European colonialism contributed to many of today's ills. Further, the US appetite for drugs created an entire sub-economy that continue to impact the future of these countries. So, there is something that we need to understand beyond today's short-term history and the demagoguery that continue to be spewed from the occupant of the WH and his GOP/Republicans gang!

  136. We get it "professor" all the world's ills are our fault. Those in countries south of the border are unable to take care of themselves thus that burden falls to us.

  137. That's such a joke. The governments of many of these countries have had many, many years and many, many opportunities to get their act together. Time and time again, they don't and instead fall prey to corruption and dysfunction. That is not the U.S.'s fault. It is theirs.

    As they say in the financial world, Brazil is an emerging market, the country of the future--and always will be. With abundant natural resources they take their largest nationally-owned oil company and turn it into a corrupt pinata for politicians. Argentina? Forget about it. Their political leaders time and again go borrow money from the international community and then just--Don't. Pay. It. Back.--with no indication that they have learned any lessons from so badly mis-managing their country.

    Quit turning any non-U.S. person/country into this helpless, innocent victim and portraying the U.S. as nothing but an evil empire. It is so far from the truth--and annoying.

    Furthermore, this blame the U.S. for everything, hate America attitude among liberals is precisely what drives many people to the right and into the hands of a demagogue like Trump. Liberals and Democrats really need to develop a more pro-America stance if they ever want to regain control of the government.

  138. According to the Washington Post, the United States and Mexico are working on a “safe third country agreement” that would slash illegal immigration to the United States. According to the Post, it would “require asylum seekers transiting through Mexico to apply for protection in that nation rather than in the United States. It would allow U.S. border guards to turn back such asylum seekers at border crossings and quickly return to Mexico anyone who has already entered illegally seeking refuge, regardless of their nationality.”

    The agreement would address many of Sonia Nazario's complaints. It would quickly end the family separation crisis since the United States would no longer hold illegal border crossers in custody while waiting for their asylum requests to be processed. It would simply return them to Mexico. It would also end the long lines of asylum seekers at U.S. legal ports of entry. The United States already has a similar agreement with Canada.

    https://www.washingtonpost.com/world/the_americas/us-and-mexico-discussi...
    I

  139. I wonder how we became big brother to the world especially those in need and those that no one wants? Why does everyone think we can solve the problems in Central America and in the rest of the world for that matter, when we can't even help ourselves. We have problems, too and they should be dealt with first. When we have a working system we can reach out to the rest of the world and share our prosperity. We profess to have the answers but fail on every count to deliver at home. We are a crippled country trying to teach the world to run. Charity begins at home. Let's fix America first. We don't even have a working healthcare system. We have starving children and homeless people. We treat our veterans like criminals. We can't even report the correct numbers for unemployment. We still suffer from racism, sexism, inequality for anyone that is not part of the 1% club. Our prisons are full of people that did find justice in our system. Let's fix America first.

  140. Given the fact that our illegal drug market is what creates many of the problems in Central America, I think we are incredible hypocrites - not to mention inhumane - to turn our backs on those running from gang violence.

  141. Please show me one Democratic Representative or Senator who is "obsessed with open borders." Please provide a reliable source.

  142. Maybe if previous Republican administrations had not fooled around with and worked to actively overthrow the governments of Guatemala, Honduras, and Nicaragua, we wouldn't be having this problem today. I say we have to take responsibility for our actions when meddling with other countries and their governments. All we do is create chaos and instability for the civilians then run away as soon as the humanitarian bill comes due, claiming it's up to those very same people to solve the problems we helped create. If we gave enough financial aid to those countries as reparations for our foolishness, those citizens wouldn't be fleeing the violence in their home countries. But leave it to the GOP and their voters to have short memories, take no responsibility for their actions, and have no compassion.

  143. This person speaks about following the rule of law...maybe she should read the asylum laws more carefully...our asylum laws grant asylum for those persecuted on the basis of " race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or particular social group"...the words "domestic violence and gang violence" do not appear any where in the statues...if we say that anyone who is a victim of domestic violence or crime from a gang, has a legal right to enter this country and acquire legal residency, that is open borders...

  144. I agree that Americans should want legitimate asylum claims processed quickly and we should want immigrants on our soil (detailed or otherwise) in humane and safe facilities.

    However, Ms. Nazario's headline suggests that recent asylum restrictions fall outside the law, but does little to support that point. Under the law, the Attorney General is fully entitled to instruct the DOJ's asylum judges on what qualifies as a legitimate claim. He also has a good deal of leeway in setting the pace of hearings. Despite Ms. Nazario's preferences, this is is not an area where the DOJ has stepped outside the law.

    Further, Ms. Nazario's hand-wave regarding Mexico is far from persuasive. She bears more burden to explain why Mexico is not a legitimate destination for asylum, apart from a high murder rate in some pockets of the country. Is she truly arguing that Mexico is an unacceptable point of termination for any individual seeking asylum, no matter their purpose? To quote the author, this is a joke on multiple levels.

    As in Germany, the idea that asylum seekers continue until they reach an optimal destination belies their claim and leaves many voters of good faith rightfully suspicious of the entire process.

  145. By the "logic" of this article we should be flying 747s full of domestic violence victims from everywhere on earth to the u.s. 24x7. There are 100s of millions of people around the world with several kids, no prospects, and bad domestic situations. Are the nyts and the author seriously saying we (the u.s.) should be on the hook to take them all in? There are several cities in the u.s. with higher murder rates than say, Guatemala. Do the residents of these cities have the right to apply for asylum in Europe because they are in danger? Asylum laws were not developed to give everyone a happy life who doesn't have one. I'm sorry but we can't take all the unhappy people on earth in. We can help them solve there problems at home to make the trip to the u.s. unnecessary, but we can't absorb the endless supply of poor, u happy people the planet produces each year. It's physically, financially,environmentally and socially impossible.

  146. The tone of the responses to this article suggests that compassion is no longer an option for republicans. You can split hairs all you like. Coming to this country for asylum, even if your reasons are not political, etc., doesn't mean you are seeking asylum illegally. It doesn't make these people criminals, which is the way we are treating them. We don't have a border crisis. We have a manufactured campaign issue crisis. We have an administration that is willing to kidnap children, split families and build a new prison infrastructure and spend the money to support it, just so they can whip up resentment in Americans by lying and persecuting people that need help. This is a disgusting chapter in American history, and those that support it are wrong.

  147. Asylum used to be persecution by government.

    Now people are making claims about domestic violence or gang activity.

    If it's our responsibility to ensure everyone in the world is safe, then it's time to bring back Manifest Destiny and help pick leaders for Latin America that can maintain order. For every one person that makes it to the US border a hundred are suffering silently in their home country. No one should have to leave their home to be safe.

    We, along with the UN, should be working with and guiding those countries to provide a safe environment for all their citizens.

  148. I'm struck by some of the callous comments and disregard for the spirit of the law that was written when governments were threatening people more so than gangs today, financed largely through U.S. drug consumption.

    Would any of these people commenting be ok if they and their families were treated the same way in an event where they had to flee for their safety?

  149. The lack of empathy the comments here is typical of Trump voters and supporters.
    Letting these people in will have no effect on your lives whatsoever.
    And don't you want people to pick fruits and vegetables and clean your hotel rooms?
    And, as one commenter said, "Contrary to what we've been told, no one undertakes a journey as dangerous as crossing a desert alone or with help without the correct documents on a whim."

  150. Joe, here in Maryland’s Easter Shore, the number of guest worker visas have been cut in half for Mexicans who pick the crab meat out of the shell. Now, restaurants have to import crab meat as there is no one here who wants to do that work. What the...? Right?

  151. Hey. Those workers, menial as they are, should be covered by Social Security when they age out of the workforce, they should get workers comp, they should be protected by OSHA. And that means they must be here legally.
    What kind of conscience do you have to advocate NOT providing ALL workers in the US the same protection? For shame!

  152. Our asylum laws are really generous because they weren't intended for illegal immigrants. They were intended for people that had been vetted by the legal immigration system or at least processed as visitors and granted entrance into the US.

    They are currently being abused by illegal immigrants who should be applying for refugee status from outside the country and awaiting the decision just like everyone else seeking entrance to the US (or any other sovereign nation).

    Furthermore, the position that local violence is a reason for asylum is simply ludicrous. Illegal immigrant activists should use their energy to push reforms in the countries these people are fleeing instead of trying to get ever more of them into the US.

  153. What does this mean: "... the position that local violence is a reason for asylum is simply ludicrous."?

    No, it is opinions based on opinions that are ludicrous. You undermine your entire argument. Furthermore, someone seeking asylum is not an "illegal immigrant" as long as they are processed properly.

  154. As for "overwhelming the system", what system? The U.S. government is spending up to $30,000. PER MONTH! per child to hold the children of asylum seekers. That's $360,000. per child, 3.6 million for ten children over a year's time. We can build a better system without wasting that kind of cash.

    As for "no evidence" should they wait until Central American gangs kill them so they can present photos? Evidence could be hard to come by when someone threatens your life and you have no copying machine, video camera, etc.

    In the past, the testimony of the asylum seeker was judged for credibility. Does the story hang together? Do they seem to be lying? Is there any visible evidence, like scars? It's not a murder case, the testimony just has to be convincing.

  155. The joke is that the GOP does not care about the well being, or the physical or mental health of white, Christians, or conservatives. They don't care about anyone beyond what they have to say to pander to, and win, the votes of those white, Christian conservatives.

    Think of all the white, Christian conservatives who do not have healthcare. Think of all the white, Christian conservatives who would benefit from medicaid expansion that the GOP opposed. Think of all the white, Christian conservatives on Obamacare. Think of all the white, Christian conservatives losing medicaid in Kentucky right now. Think of all the white, Christian conservatives who cannot afford college tuition. Think of all the white, Christian conservatives who are hooked on opioids. Think of all the white, Christian conservatives who breath air and drink water that the GOP's EPA is making dirty and dangerous again. Think of all the white, Christian conservatives who are committing suicide in higher and higher numbers. Think of all the white, Christian conservatives who are elderly and destitute.

    The GOP is not serving those folks. The GOP is using those folks. Because those folks still respond to racial dog whistles. Because those folks fear The Other. Because these folks believe that anyone who peppers their speeches with the word "Jesus" is godly.

  156. “People are being sent back to danger, even to their deaths.”

    No, people are being denied entry because they do not qualify. Moreover, those claiming asylum are screened at the border, and only those with a credible claim make it to an immigration court (very few). Of those few making it that far, 75% are found by the court to be ineligible. In other words, we are being swamped with false claims for asylum. Those same people can apply for asylum in Mexico, Belize, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Panama . . . you get the idea.

  157. Yes. The Times reports that tourism in Guatemala is doing well. A good place to find a new home with different neighbors...

  158. The United States did not send a ship of 900 Jewish refugees back to Europe, where more than 250 died in the Holocaust, as Sonia Nazario alleges. It sent the ship back to Havana because the ships passengers had Cuban—not U.S. visas.

    After Cuba refused to honor the visas, Great Britain took 288 passengers; the Netherlands admitted 181 passengers, Belgium took in 214 passengers; and 224 passengers ended up France. This was before World War II. The United States has no way of knowing Belgium and France would be occupied by German forces.

  159. Oh, Havana, not Europe. That makes it much better.

    They were seeking asylum.

    The Nazis began persecuting Jews long before WWII began. The persecution was not hidden. It was not people telling stories that could not be verified. It was a nation deliberately, consciously abusing a part of its population.

    Havana, not Europe. "No way of knowing". Your comment made me quake with outrage. My relatives might have been on that ship. Instead, they died.

    I think about my relatives when I think about those we are now abandoning in the name of making America great again. We are doing many things, but making America great is not one of them.

  160. Ray Clark, it's unfortunate that it is necessary, but even Obama saw it. They come and claim asylum with no evidence only to be let into the US for a year or more awaiting their hearing. The vast majority don't qualify and they are overwhelming the system making a mockery of it and preventing people with valid claims from having their cases handled expeditiously. What we need to do is toughen the standard for getting an asylum hearing thus weeding out the frivolous claims as is done in civil courts by simply dismissing cases without merit.

  161. You left out the fact that most of these asylum seekers disappear, never to show up to their hearings and become part of the millions of illegals or undocumented or whatever you want to call them.

  162. No one says these people are coming on a whim; you are inventing this. The issue is, as correctly pointed out elsewhere, that notwithstanding the stories told in the article, the vast majority of these are telling false stories to seek a better life for themselves and their family.

  163. It would seem difficult, to say the least, to provide evidence. A truthful person with a strong story should qualify. A good liar with the same story will also qualify.
    That said, people have been moving around the planet for thousands of years to seek a better life. Obviously no country can accommodate every person seeking entry, or sneaking in. What to do? Beyond me.

  164. Mr. Trump and the Republican Party leadership consistently show disdain for the rule of law, unless adhering to it is beneficial and convenient to the GOP and its wealthy political patrons.

  165. Agree but also shows a heartless soul, and is not what America stands for. The GOP doesn't even bother to create a better strategy or plan to better what we have. It is always okay to disagree but one must have a smarter and competent solution to better what we have They don't even get this and shows how they are an ignorant administration.

  166. Problem solving skills of the Trump administration are interesting to watch. They do seem responsive to public pressure.

    Arguments by asylum seekers are so tedious, no wonder they barge in illegally.
    Children do complicate matters, but that gives families the best chances of being heard, particularly in catch and release status. It is unknown how many of these people fabricate stories vs. real asylum cases that fall on deaf ears, and those people probably die. It sounds like a system that will continue to be a charade. Have read numerous accounts by reporters who claim many "asylum seekers" are actually sponsored by Christian churches in Guatemala to arrive in the U.S. to populate sagging attendance rolls here. The only certain direction for immigration reform, is for Dems to use it in 2018, offering a new view on treatment of immigrants, since this story will not change one bit over the next five years.

  167. A question: (answers welcome)

    I don't understand this. If it is legal to ask for asylum (that is a person follows legal procedures for doing so, and does not attempt to cross the border illegally), how can it possibly be grounds for incarceration simply to ask for asylum? I was under the impression that these were people who entered the country illegally, and then asked asylum, but if this is not the case, then this is illegal arrest and incarceration yes?

    If they are denied asylum (again with due process) that's one thing, but this?

    I think of my grandparents, and great grandparents of so many if not most us--they were not treated this way. Many if not most of us would not be here, or would not be alive if that had been so.

    Unconscionable. Where is the historical memory?

  168. Going through Ellis Island, the potential asylum seekers would remain there until a decision was made - and not be released to disappear into the interior.
    There is no convenient island for the southern border.

  169. No one is prosecuted for applying for asylum, Some asylum seekers are prosecuted for crossing the border illegally. They are supposed to apply for asylum at legal ports of entry. They can also be prosecuted for other crimes they many commit.

  170. Ignore the reader responses to the OpEd, they come from Fox News talking points. The writer of the OpEd essay is correct. People seeking asylum at designated points of entry are being denied asylum. This is what zero-tolerance means when interpreted by boarder agents.

  171. The history of much of South and Central America and Mexico have been written by US policy. If we took any responsibility for our military and covert actions throughout the last 200 years, we might have reason to care for the people of these countries. There are reasons people are coming to America and much of it has to do with our past, and the Soviet Union's past, with both of us arming whomever we backed at the moment. We flooded these countries with weapons. We built militias . Instead of cursing the people who are trying to come here, we should be helping them and their countries. This WH is filled with hatred for the very people trump is trying to hire to work at his luxury resorts. The hypocrisy is astounding. Our response to human suffering is reprehensible.

  172. "Rule of law" doesn't mean a thing when the system is gamed. In California we have elected an official (Kevin de Leon) bragging how they have helped relatives here illegally. Another Leland Yee convicted of supplying weapons to organized gangs. Inexorably, the threads of corruption south of the border are taking root here with tacit approval from liberal politicians seeking to expand their base. Businesses that hire (under the table) prosper,honest business people can't compete driving down wages for all..
    We are being gamed. This is all about open borders.
    Liberals have interpreted the law in such a way that a billion people could be eligible for asylum here...just practice saying the right words and you're in, show up at a hearing in 5 years which most don't anyway. Rule of law indeed.

  173. This article is disingenuous...
    If the US followed the letter of the asylum law...
    100% of applicants would tell ANY story of duress to stay in the US...
    Or
    100% might be actually eligible for asylum...Which is absurd...

    The US must make US states out of those dubious Central American nations...or something like that...I bet it happens...

  174. Obama weaponized DOJ and IRS to seemingly go after enemies; where was the outcry from human rights advocates and those who care abour Rule of Law?

  175. Your own comment contains the word “seemingly”. Perhaps they DOJ and IRS were weaponized only in Fox News fever dreams.

  176. Jeff Sessions is our chief law enforcement officer. Where is he in all this?

  177. What in the world does this mean or have to do with false asylum claims?

  178. The Trump Administration cares nothing for the rule of law--period.

  179. So in 2012 under the Obama administration when 45% of asylum requests were denied, was that illegal too?

    The rule of law is being carried out.

  180. The problem with ankle bracelets is they remove them , don't show up for their hearings and disappear in the U.S. Ideally if they followed the mandates , it would be easier . " I'd rather be locked up , than dead in my country" will garner no sympathy with the present administration as they will only see these people as freeloaders . Women in this country are physically abused too , how many really meet the asylum criteria other than gang violence or spousal abuse ? There are many people ahead of them , legally and thru the official system , and they have waited for a long time . Cutting the line ahead of these others is not right either .

  181. The bottom line here is that we can't be a refuge for every person living in a corrupt, dictatorial country. At some point, these people have to cause change in their countries. I have no problem helping in that effort, but I can't support all of them coming here. We don't have the resources or the desire to undertake that.

  182. Then vote in November as if your life depended upon it...because it does....

  183. 'The lifeboat is full'
    So now we are seeing the beginning of a replay of the all b ut universal refusal by all nations to give aid and succour to South and Central Americans in precisely the same manner as the world did in the years before WWII, to Jews and others avoiding the German advance.
    Everyone said "Never again!" after 1945, but, it seems all the media wriiters and even all the children and relatives of the Jewish refugees, whose relatives have established a state in the middle east, claiming every Jew in the world as their citizens, are also forgetting and refusing even temporary aid to refugees.
    The world is a bigger place now, but it will only keep having the same problems if we refuse to deal with them and allow nations to make promises they have no intention of keeping.
    A first step in halting the constant flow of illegals is to stop "charging" for entry and making a multi billion dollar business out of moving wealthy Orientals and Islamic peoples from nations they have finished consuming, into Northern Europe and the Americas -where many have no intention of doing more then abusing the kindness of their hosts and then returning to Arab or Chinese lands.

  184. The world is a smaller place now. In WWII, when Roosevelt forbid Jews from entering the US as refugees from Germany, the US population was under 135 million. Today it's almost three times that. The world population was under 2 billion, today it's closing on 7 billion. One thing we don't need is more people. South America and Central America are quite prolific.

  185. The author alleges “a measly three families are processed a day” at the Nogales port of entry. According to the U.S. Custom and Border Patrol, the number of families seeking asylum at legal ports of entry peaked in May, when CBP processed 5,445 family members. In June, the number of processed family members decreased to 2,743 a month, but this clearly indicates that the author either cherry-picked her data or is simply repeating what she heard from some migrant advocate.

    Some attribute the decrease to an intentional slowdown while other say that it is attributable to the administration announcement that fear of gang violence doesn’t qualify a person for asylum. But the fact is applying for asylum at legal ports of entry is far easier than crossing the border illegally.

    https://www.azcentral.com/story/news/politics/immigration/2018/07/11/cus...

  186. Mr. Case...How wrong you are.

    You are approaching this with reason and logic and recognizing that the law is the law.

    You well know that that will never be the answer and to ask the liberal or progressive to give up their belief in emotional blackmail is far worse than asking them to give up their kids.

    As long as the left is focusing on the symptoms, we will never achieve consensus as to how to solve the problems...and there are quite a few "problems" is this whole mess, and all of those "problems are inextricably connected. They fail to recognized that eliminating one system may actually cause even worse damage because of the interrelationship.

    Please, my friends on the left, come up with comprehensive solutions to the problems you see and think them through to see where they might cause more problems than they are worth...

    Murphy's Law has yet to be repealed, and the road to disaster is often paved with good intentions...

  187. Where is Sessions?

    Enforcing the laws that Congress passed and the Presidents of the past and present have signed into law.

    That's where he's supposed to be and supposed to be doing.

    If you have a problem with the laws as passed and signed, then get Congress to change them...

    It's as simple a process as that.

    That you can't get Congressional support for the changes is a different conversation all together.

    Don't whine if you can't win at the ballot box...It is unbecoming of someone living in a democratically governed society.

  188. "In the first nine months of this fiscal year, 68,560 families and 37,450 unaccompanied children were apprehended at our southern border."

    Those are only the ones who were caught. In 2014 there were 70,000 unaccompanied children caught at the border.
    The author apparently has little experience with scammers trying to get over on a good deal. Who exactly is supposed to pay for all of this? The mighty USA has deep pockets, they can afford it, you say. They have plenty of money, you rationalize. And when they get here, set loose in dreamland America, "undocumented" and unable to work, unable to pay for their expenses, they get a job that doesn't require proof of legal residence, and what do they do with the money they earn here in America? They send it back to their home country. They're undocumented so they don't pay American taxes. The national economies of those countries south of our border benefit greatly from the influx of money, in the billions, sent by expatriots living and working in the USA, sponging off of our social welfare programs. The population is much greater today than it was in 1945 or in 1967. It's a bigger problem. We can no longer afford it.

  189. If they’re living and working in the US, as you say, they are not sponging of our welfare system and they are paying taxes to pay for Americans on welfare.

  190. "Pay for all this..."? Your government pays $7,000. per week, per child when a child is sent to a "shelter" on short notice. That amounts to more than $360,000. per year to carry out an inhumane act, kidnapping children and, we know now, with in many cases no records on how to reunite them with their parents. 100 children would, over a year's time, add up to more than 36 million dollars. (The year long figure is valid because children are being houses constantly, if not the same children.)

    Can't afford it? How is it that the govt. could afford to pay at least 4 thousand a week per child (for those not taken in "at the last moment") and fly them all over the country? The money that was, and is, wasted on this effort could have been put to resolve matters decently without separating families.

    There is so much misinformation about this problem. People believe what they want to believe and disregard anything that makes them uncomfortable.

  191. Well, the Republicans just gave a trillion dollars a year to the wealthy in this country. They now claim that they cannot afford Social Security or Medicare, benefits we have paid for out of our own pockets from our own earnings during our working lives. The point here is they now claim we cannot afford to apply our own laws, although they are making their buddies rich by paying them exorbitant amounts to indefinitely imprison innocent people. And by the way, immigrants pay billions of dollars in taxes. This is not a money issue, it is just racism. Otherwise why would Melania's parents be allowed to immigrate? Her father was a Communist, they have no jobs and pay no taxes. And our unemployment is so low companies cannot hire enough workers. Again, this is not about money.

  192. "You are either for the rule of law, or you’re against it." Guess who is certainly NOT for the rule of law and perjured himself during his swearing in as POTUS last year - to protect and defend the Constitution of the U.S.?

    "...and be tougher on the back end." If we won't provide asylum, there is no need to be cruel and send suffering immigrants back to the hell they came from. They should be assisted in getting asylum in another country. THAT would be "a lot more humane."

    In the end, may trump and his ilk never obtain asylum or sanctuary from American rule of law. Especially Mr. Alex Azar of HHS, calling immigrant parents rapists and murderers to excuse for his incompetence and cruel treatment and practice of separating abducted children.

  193. We need to think on ways to address two root causes: abysmal governance in Central American countries, and intense economic inequality. I know of few easy answers.

    We like to forget that the U.S. has done a lot of destructive meddling in Central America over the last century or so, which to a degree makes the U.S. responsible for the chaos in that region. Responsibility aside, given geography, their problems are our problems. Let’s act that way.

    Meanwhile, we need balance in our immigration policies. We need to do our best to enforce the laws we have - and we need to improve those laws. And we should do our best to avoid violating people's rights.

    Laws do not prevent us from devoting more resources to increase the capacity of courts to speed up the asylum process. We also should be finding ways to fund a small army of lawyers who can assist asylum seekers, so that our rules can be fairly applied as often as possible.

    Globalization creates opportunities for poorer countries to provide better jobs and incomes for their people. Yes, that means some people in countries like ours will lose jobs and wealth as people in poorer countries gain. Can we help Americans whose jobs move to other countries without damping the economic gains in developing countries? Our current move towards protectionism is undermining the positive aspects of globalization. That that will drive even more immigrants to our doors.

    As will climate change…

  194. fearing for your life is not grounds for asylum

  195. No one is prosecuting for applying for asylum, However, asylum seekers are prosecuted for crossing the border illegally like others who cross illegally . They are suppose to apply for asylum at legal ports of entry. They game the system by crossing illegally because they expect to be released with notifications to appear at court hearing set years in the future. Asylum seekers can also prosecuted for other crimes they may commit.

    If your grandparents had enter the country illegally, they would have been prosecuted if they had been caught.

  196. Actually, as the article points out, asylum applicants who followed every law properly are being improperly detained. As the article points out, that includes asylum seekers who cross the border legally and present themselves at legal ports of entry. Also as the article points out, the government is barring people from legal points of entry to *force* them to present themselves elsewhere. And in addition to all of that, our asylum laws allow people who have crossed the border in any manner at all to later make a perfectly legal claim for asylum.

  197. If not fear of death, what would be grounds, then? Asylum is generally granted to people who have no other choice but to seek it because they are desperate to survive.

  198. A close rereading of the article answers your point about asylum seekers being prosecuted for crossing the border illegally.

    The US Border patrol is reported by numerous local and national outlets, including this article, to be illegally preventing asylum seekers from legally seeking asylum.

    The apparent purpose is to create "illegals" which feeds the prejudices of Trump's far-right primary voter base. Never mind that in the past the misdemeanor trespass violation was seldom used as a cause to deny an asylum claim and credible fear hearing.

    This refugee crisis is self-inflicted in any case: The UN reports 30 million current asylum seekers in the world; the US has not accepted over 30 thousand any year in the last decade. This attempt to cut off all asylum seekers except for a few dozen a day seems to prove an abundance of inhumanity, particularly when you consider that the US is directly involved in both the military coups and drug cartels that are creating huge numbers of refugees in our hemisphere.

  199. The US could choose to refuse to allow people to seek asylum, period. However, to do so openly and honestly would require amending or repealing a statute, and withdrawing from one or more international treaties.

    The US could also choose not to provide any due process to noncitizens lacking legal residency status. "Catch and release" would become "catch, immediately drive back across the border, and release, no hearings needed." However, to do so openly and honestly would require amending the Constitution.

    The administration knows that as supine as Congress is in letting ICE and CBP run amuck, that McConnell and Ryan could not generate a majority to publicly repeal the relevant statutes and withdraw from the international treaties regarding asylum. They know that they could not get Congress and the states to ratify an amendment explicitly stating that undocumented persons are not entitled to due process.

    So instead, we leave the laws on the books, so that we look good, and just do everything we can to avoid following them, and everything we can to make it hard for people to claim their rights. We create a veneer of plausible deniability that allows our leaders and lawmakers to sleep at night and look at themselves in the mirror in the morning.

    We are really good at this. We ratified the 14th and 15th Amendments in the 1860's and then did not meaningfully enforce them, or honor the rights they granted, for nearly a century. How long is it going to take this time?

  200. The rule of law is an inconvenience to Trump and therefore it becomes a burden and is ignored. The immigrant problem is almost intractable. We need to either take in the asylum seekers or refuse them as the author contends. The middle position just adds to the unmanageability of the problem.

  201. Trump has been tearing down the rule of law from the first day he took office. He recently questioned the need for immigration trials, basically saying that his administration is above the law, as is he personally, if called to testify in front of the special counsel.

  202. Important article, and would love input on how to take action. Awareness is a start, but where does one donate money or join volunteer organizations to help? Calling our reps who already agree with us is not enough. Perhaps, Ms. Nazario can include her email so that readers can contact her with questions such as these.

  203. I could not make it all the way through this argument; the reasoning was too poor. It begins by asserting that America is violating its own laws, regarding people who complied with the law by presenting themselves at points of entry and asking for asylum. As support it points to:

    --Sessions telling judges they must rule on 700 cases a year. How does that violate our laws? The author does not say.
    --Sessions' policy that domestic and gang violence does not qualify one for asylum. How does this violate the law? It seems to agree with the law, since asylum is designed for people fleeing political, religious, or ethnic oppression, not mere criminality.
    --It asserts that we have effectively barred people from seeking asylum at ports of entry, but provides no support for the assertion.
    --It then shifts to talking about prosecuting people for illegal entry and separating them from their children. However wrong this might be, it has nothing to do with people who complied with the law by presenting themselves at ports of entry.

    Everything that does further the author's point is an unsupported assertion; every assertion that is supported doesn't further her point. How did this make it past an editor and see print?

  204. No newspaper article is all inclusive: the goal of assiduous independent verification is a worthy one... and it's achievable, to an extent, if one is genuinely interested in more than poking holes.

    Support was provided in the form of links to the language of the law itself, as well as by assertions of what the law says (which one can readily confirm at the noted links). It's not clear what would qualify as "support" in your view, if the language of the law itself is not sufficient.

    Sessions requiring 700 rulings was an example of an underfunded mandate, and thus something that can't possibly happen in the manner required by law.

    Fleeing gang violence may or may not qualify one for asylum; the law provides a procedure for determining as much, including a requirement for a pro bono counsel. Failure to provide either is clearly against the law. The law allows that threat of forced abortion is to be construed as a political oppression worthy of asylum; this may be credibly presented at such a hearing, and it's what was described in one of the author's anecdotes.

    The author provides examples of large numbers of people waiting at ports of entry, and gives anecdotes of children being separated from parents; in your view, what would constitute "support" for these anecdotes, in this context? Like 99% of reporting, there are no links to video footage... we are left to trust the reporter with the imprimatur of the paper behind it. But this is true of almost everything one reads.

  205. Every American citizen who supports illegal immigration should be required to pay an additional U.S. surtax on their annual IRS tax returns.

    The monies garnered from the surtax will be distributed to lower income citizens and legal residents who face reduced employment opportunities, lower wages and benefits on account of the country's millions of undocumented workers.

    And since both political parties refuse to mandate the e-verify program, why not double the amount of seats in both the Senate and Congress and reduce the wages and benefits for each member by 50 percent? Then this privileged cohort could experience first-hand the obstacles that America's poorest must face.

  206. The President has been very clear. He wants the police to adjudicate what the rule of law is on the spot. There is no rule of law. The law is whatever the cop on the beat, in this case the ICE officer says it is.

  207. Asylum should not be granted to victims of domestic abuse or crime.

    Allowing people to claim asylum on those grounds makes a mockery of our system and it erodes support for true asylum cases.

  208. This response is unrelated to the article which discusses trump’s violations of law. You instead gas on about what you think the law should be. I therefore conclude you concede the main point: trump violates the law.

  209. Why should a victim of domestic abuse not be granted asylum if their government is allowing it to happen? and why not victims of crime? What is a "true asylum case?"

  210. What's happening is appalling & needs to change. The sad thing about Trump & Co's attitude is that the USA needs immigrants. We need folks who have children; we need young people because we have an ageing population. Our birth rate is also low. What Trump and his fans want will end up with a thoroughly walled-in, sewn-up nation of ageing, shriveling white folks wondering what happened and why their nation is no longer relevant on the world stage.

  211. Sorry, but with respect, a nation of 325 million with millions of malnourished children and thousands of homeless veterans living under bridges does not "need" millions of uneducated and unskilled immigrants.

  212. And no Happy Chef restaurants for them to have their "early bird specials" since there won't be anyone working in the kitchen.

  213. Anne-Marie,

    The US needs immigrants who can be self supporting that goes on to have families they can support. Many of the asylum seekers and illegal "immigrants" are terribly educated, will never earn very much money, and will be a drag on the taxpayer, not a benefit. Even the DACA enrollees are not very well educated.

    This country hasn't needed warm bodies with strong backs for a long time.

  214. The tragedies are becoming mere procedures. Thank you, Sonia Nazario for this reminder that we have to become more American than we are now.

  215. I largely agree with the conclusions of this article, but it fails to engage with the fundamental question posed by asylum policy: Why should certain countries bear the disproportionate weight of conflicts elsewhere? A woman fleeing her husband, whose own country refuses to protect her, would likely be as safe in Colombia, Argentina, or Canada as she would be in the United States. So why should the United States bear a disproportionate burden, simply because she happens to show up at the U.S. borders? Even the most open-hearted person must recognize that the admission of refugees, who typically arrive with nothing, often do not speak the language, and need various social services, imposes a cost on countries. Why should this burden be borne disproportionately by certain countries, like the U.S.?

    The answer may be, "Well, the U.S. should bear the cost because it is an especially wealthy country." But that does not work because the wealth is so disproportionately concentrated in certain hands. It is a hard political sell to convince people that the U.S.'s wealth means it must be especially generous in offering asylum, even as it is apparently not wealthy enough to guarantee healthcare to its own citizens.

  216. Of course, the US is wealthy enough to guarantee healthcare to all it's citizens. It just lacks the moral compass to do so. One can also follow a direct line from American policy to many refugees. There is also the eternal question, just because one entity has more, does this mean that it is obligated to share with others who have less? Of course it does. Wealth comes from somewhere, and is often at the expense of someone else. In fact one of the central tenents of christianity is to serve others, no matter who they are or how many resources you have. Income inequalty in this country is a direct result of neglecting the obligation to share, and turning immigrants away does nothing to solve it. I would argue that refugees in need who are granted asylum and given resources become Americas best advocates. Our diversity is what makes us an innovation and economic powerhouse, and we as a nation are obligated to share this wealth to help make the world a better place. There is a reason why so many non-native children learn english, and it is not because we are a bully, have closed borders, and refuse to help someone in need.

  217. The United States should be generous in offering asylum because of its values, not its wealth.

    But even on a practical -- not an ethical -- level, there is little downside to this generosity. Asylum seekers make excellent future citizens.

  218. The U.S. is greatly responsible for much of the violence in the countries the asylum seekers are fleeing. We supported brutal politics in these countries, undermined democracy as our U.S. covert military supported dictators. We owe them safety now. This is our burden.

  219. One thing that never gets discussed enough is the attitude and actions of Border Patrol and ICE agents. While most do their best to do a difficult job, the hiring surges of the past 15 years has meant hiring people who weren't qualified and have their own personal agendas.

    Just like bad cops, these people need to be weeded out and fired. That's not happening under this administration. They are being encouraged and rewarded for breaking the law. The rule of law is just that, not what the president and AG make up on a nearly daily basis now.

    Kavanaugh should be questioned closely about these illegal actions by the administration during his hearings.