In reaction to the Trump administration’s new policy that imposes dangerous restrictions on people who seek asylum at the US southern border, Vicki Gass, Oxfam America Senior Policy Advisor for Central America and Mexico, made the following statement:
“Another day, another policy change that is immoral, illegal, and un-American.
President Trump is prioritizing short-sighted political points at the expense of innocent women, men, and children seeking safety and protection. This policy is a complete abdication of our country’s legal and moral responsibilities.
The new policy will force people fleeing violence and deprivation from Central America to apply for asylum in another country. Oxfam rejects this policy because Mexico and the Northern Triangle countries of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador are not safe and those governments lack the capacity to respond to high volumes of asylum claims. Some of the highest levels of violence, poverty and inequality, and government corruption in the hemisphere are found in these countries, even the US State Department has issued code red travel alerts for them.
It is ludicrous and dangerous to think that same governments lacking the capacity and political will to address the social and economic needs of their own people will be able to process petitions for asylum or protect asylum-seekers.
Seeking asylum is a legal right – full stop. Preventing asylum-seekers from filing their claim, or requiring them to stay in a third country, is a violation of national and international law and of the human rights of those seeking protection. The richest nation in the world could do better than wash its hands of any responsibility to the safety and well-being of innocent people seeking its help.”