Order at the border requires access to asylum documents; so does entering the United States to seek legal redress in court.
But as the administration has escalated the use of deportation as a tool of political repression, asylum application and asylum seekers have been steadily being detained at the border as if they have nothing whatsoever to fear.
These have included children and vulnerable victims of sexual violence, those fleeing domestic abuse and family violence, and other vulnerable populations, including unaccompanied children.
It is clear that this campaign has been waged under orders from the highest levels of the government.
The asylum system as we understand it was never intended as a “legal” or “judicial” system for refugee/asylum seekers.
In fact, this system was created to be a self-policing and self-defending system of protection.
This is why any and all immigration or border enforcement measures — including detention at the border — are a threat to both the US asylum system and international human rights law.
Asylum seekers are not entitled to the right to make asylum claims in the US or to seek asylum in other countries.
The UN Refugee Convention on the Status of Refugees (the 1951 Convention ) is clear that asylum seekers, under the Geneva Convention, are entitled to claim the protection of the nation which is willing to receive them.
It is a matter of law that any country that is willing to accept an asylum application must receive all of the information that is provided by the applicant.
It is not right that a country such as the United States is permitted to reject such information and, as a result, not allow the asylum seeker to enter that country.
In fact, the United States has been one of the world’s worst violators of the rights of asylum seekers.
The US has been so egregious in its violations of rights of asylum seekers in the past that the UN General Assembly called the United States on this in 2013 for the most egregious breaches of human rights in the world.
This is what the UN General Assembly specifically condemned in its resolution: “We condemn the US practice of detention of asylum seekers at the US border with no access to a lawyer or right of appeal and call upon the US authorities to immediately address these issues.”
How did this happen?