Senators request asylum for Nicaraguans, Venezuelans and Cubans

Several Senators ask the Trump administration to grant asylum to immigrants from three nations

On September 14, 2020, four US senators signed an official letter exposing how the political asylum policies implemented by the Trump administration could put dozens of immigrants from countries experiencing quite alarming internal conflicts at imminent risk.

The letter involves:

  • Secretary of State of the Department of State (DOS), Michael Pompeo.
  • Under Secretary for Strategy, Policy and Plans of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Chad Wolf.

The senators argue that changes and measures implemented by the current administration of the US, led by President Donald Trump, are risking the lives of innocent immigrants who arrive in the country fleeing the danger, persecution and threat of their countries.

They yearn to request political asylum, so that they can protect their lives. However, current strict policies have allowed these individuals to be expelled from the US almost immediately upon arrival, sending them back to precarious environments that threaten their integrity.

Senators raise their voices primarily for immigrants coming from:

  • Cuba.
  • Nicaragua.
  • Venezuela.

They argue that, on many occasions, they do not go back to their countries, but rather must go to Mexico, which is another vulnerable environment for immigrants, under the Migrant Protection Protocol (MPP).

In fact, the senators declare: “The Trump administration is routinely forcing Venezuelans, Cubans, Nicaraguans, and other seeking asylum back to Mexico’s most violent cities (…) We fail to see how denying protection and inflicting further suffering on Venezuelans, Cubans, and Nicaraguans serves U.S foreign policy and humanitarian interests.”

The MPP Policy – Brief Explanation

In January 2019, the US government signed the MPP agreement with the Mexican government.

This immigration policy, also known as “Remain in Mexico”, states that asylum seekers no longer have the opportunity to reside in the US while waiting for the response to their immigration applications, but must remain in Mexico until their applications are resolved.

It is imperative to understand that immigrants apply for political asylum mainly because they are trying to flee from danger, which is why in most cases they arrive in the country without personal belongings.

Currently, they live in temporary shelters on the borders of Mexico or in foundations sponsored by activist organizations, neighboring communities or religious groups, who help them survive through donations, food and shelters.

They are going through adverse circumstances because these temporary shelters are overcrowded, which increases the risk of a massive outbreak of Coronavirus. Adding to that, asylum hearings are substantially behind schedule due to the health crisis, lengthening waiting times for them and aggravating the situation.

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