Asylum should remain an option in any country where a refugee chooses to seek it

Asylum Access Press Release

Emily Arnold-Fernández, executive director, +1.415.601.3896 
Diana Essex-Lettieri, deputy director, +1.805.512.0645

OAKLAND — Asylum Access is concerned for the safety of thousands of refugees fleeing violence in Central America. The Trump administration’s proposed changes to asylum rules and border enforcement will harm many women, children and men seeking refuge.

Asylum should remain an option in any country where a refugee chooses to seek it.

While we encourage Mexico and Guatemala to continue efforts to strengthen their asylum systems for refugees who feel safe seeking asylum in those countries, asylum also must remain available in the US.

The US has ratified the Refugee Convention’s 1967 Protocol, which sets global standards for asylum and other human rights for refugees.  The US should adhere to this commitment. The current proposal violates it. It is critically important that the US provide safe haven to those who need it.  Some refugees will not be safe in Mexico, or will not be able to rebuild their lives effectively there.

We need international cooperation.  Both the US and Mexico have important roles to play in protecting refugees fleeing violence in Central America. While not all refugees will be safe in Mexico, for many, it can be a new home.  

Mexico has good asylum laws that protect refugees’ rights to move freely, work and go to school; however, a lack of resources for their asylum system means many refugees are denied access and sent back to life-threatening situations.  Helping people rebuild their lives requires support for strengthening asylum systems, not militarizing borders.

Asylum Access works across Mexico to help strengthen the asylum system so that families can access their rights, find safety, and rebuild their lives.