What Are An Asylum Seeker's Basic Rights? | Texas Public Radio

What Are An Asylum Seeker's Basic Rights?

Feb 20, 2019

According to the United Nations Refugee Agency, at least 68.5 million people worldwide are displaced from home due to war or persecution. Many choose to seek asylum by applying for protection in another country. What does this legal process look like? 


Securing asylum can be a long and formiddable process. Individuals must attempt to travel to another country and provide evidence of persecution, valid on a number of factors including race, religion and political opinion. Applying requires documentation, in-person interviews, and can leave families in limbo for years. 

Poverty, violence and political instability have contributed to the mass migration of populations around the world in recent years. Over half of the world's refugees come from Syria, Afghanistan or South Sudan. How have immigration policies changed for countries that take in refugees and asylees?

Each country has different regulations on admitting asylum and human rights-related cases. How are judges and other legal professionals meeting the demand to process cases? 

In Texas, the legality around immigration is a hot-button issue spurred by an influx of migrants coming from Central America and debate about barriers for the border.

Last month, the Trump administration began implementing "migrant protection protocols," effectively turning away families from Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras who arrive on the U.S.-Mexico border. Previously, asylum seekers were permitted to stay and wait on court proceedings but may be detained. 

How do governments around the world handle human rights cases and in what ways does the United States differ? 

St. Mary's University is hosting an immigration symposium on Friday, February 22 at the Pearl Stable. 

Guests: 

"The Source" is a live call-in program airing Mondays through Thursdays from 12-1 p.m. Leave a message before the program at (210) 615-8982. During the live show, call 210-614-8980, email thesource@tpr.org or tweet at @TPRSource. 

This interview aired on Thursday, February 21, 2019.