Say it with me: It is not illegal to seek asylum. This is a fact. The literal definition of asylum is, “the protection granted by a nation to someone who has left their native country as a political refugee.” The United States recognizes the right of individuals from other countries to seek asylum. This is specified by not only a federal law but also international law.
Another fact people like to overlook is that most individuals that are being called “illegals” are asylum seekers. Once again, it is legal to seek asylum. However, it is not being treated as such.
According to CNN, the daily average number of people being held in ICE detention centers during the fiscal year of 2017 was 40,500. On top of this, 16 immigrants held in custody have died while in ICE’s custody between Dec. 2015 and April 2017.
And these numbers will only continue to grow. While most deaths seem to be from little or no medical care while being detained, the most recent case is different. A transgender woman by the name of Roxsana Hernandez Rodriguez died in May while in ICE’s custody.
A recent autopsy revealed that she was beaten then denied medical treatment. She died from dehydration.
She was fleeing Honduras and seeking asylum in the United States so that she could create a better life for her family.
Recently, President Trump and his administration sent the military to the Mexico-U.S. border to await the caravan made up of migrants seeking asylum.
Trump called this a “grave security threat.” Due to the attitudes towards migrants, a small portion of those seeking asylum began throwing rocks. The United States military then fired tear gas and pepper ball rounds, which seems like a drastic measure in comparison to rocks.
No matter what, all of this could have been avoided if asylum seekers were not treated as criminals or as a “security threat.”
The fact this has become a left vs. right issue is devastating. This should not be a political argument. This should not even be considered an issue if there are migrants coming to the United States and legally seeking asylum.
There should be no reason for the detainment, the deaths or the military at our southern border.