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Fronteras: 'This Administration Has Completely Dismantled The U.S. Asylum System'

MATAMOROSVeracovid.jpg
Verónica G. Cárdenas for TPR
People wait in line to receive a meal at a migrant camp in Matamoros, Mexico on March 17, 2020.

President Donald Trump campaigned on overhauling immigration in the U.S. and these past four years have proved his determination. From a travel ban on refugees and immigrants from Muslim-majority countries, to Migrant Protection Protocols.

A new report from the Migration Policy Institute (MPI) details 400 executive actions issued by the president that have effectively reshaped immigration in America.

Sarah Pierce is a policy analyst with Migration Policy Institute and and co-author of the report, “Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency.”
Credit Courtesy MPI
Sarah Pierce is a policy analyst with Migration Policy Institute and and co-author of the report, “Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency.”

The MPI’s report, “Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System: A Catalog of Changes under the Trump Presidency,” finds the current administration has delivered on nearly everything the president promised on the campaign trail. Falling in line with Trump’s strong rhetoric on enforcement, the sweeping transformation comes mostly as a result of executive fiats, with the president ignoring Congress and abandoning his pledge to work on systemic reform.

Sarah Pierce, policy analyst with MPI and co-author of the report, said the possibility of a new administration could still fall short in reversing Trump-era policies without effective resources or the political will to do so.

“For example,” Pierce explained, “the administration has done so much to close off the southern border, if we were to reverse all of that back quite quickly, we'd be going back to a system that really was broken to begin with and perhaps encouraging another surge on the southern border in the process. So a lot of this requires unwinding so we can have a welcoming immigration system again.”

 

Dismantling and Reconstructing the U.S. Immigration System

The MPI also explored how the coronavirus pandemic has supercharged the president’s immigration agenda.

That includes an executive action issued in March in the name of public health that no longer gives asylum seekers the opportunity to present their claims of credible fear. They are rapidly expelled across the border or flown to the Mexican interior to make it more difficult to attempt another border crossing into the U.S.

According to the MPI, the coming year with the presidential election and the economic and public health crisis will hold more significant developments in the country’s immigration system.

Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter @NormDog1 and Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter @terrazas_lauren.

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Norma Martinez can be reached at norma@tpr.org and on Twitter at @NormDog1
Lauren Terrazas can be reached at lauren@tpr.org and on Twitter at @terrazas_lauren