Washington, DC — Statement on Trump Administration Proposal to Deny Asylum Seekers from Applying at U.S. Borders by KIND President Wendy Young:
The proposal to bar individuals from seeking asylum at our land borders flies in the face of who the United States is as a country and who we are as Americans. Such action is slamming the door on people whose lives are in danger and potentially returning them to their death or serious harm. This action is eerily reminiscent of when the United States government refused entry in 1939 to the St. Louis, a ship of more than 900 mostly Jewish refugees fleeing the Third Reich. They were forced to return to Europe, where many of them died in the Holocaust.
Such a policy would also violate U.S. and international law, which prohibits returning individuals who have expressed fear of persecution. Many of the individuals arriving at our borders are children fleeing grave violence, persecution, human trafficking and narco-trafficking who require and deserve our protection. At KIND we know that if the United States refuses to provide protection for these children many could suffer the same fate as those who were on the St. Louis.
In addition to our legal and moral obligation to protect these vulnerable children, our country also benefits tremendously. Once safe and secure, our clients have contributed in meaningful ways to the United States, such as in the medical profession.
The United States stands to only lose if this proposed policy is implemented and absolutely nothing to gain.
Media Contact: Megan McKenna, email@example.com, 202-631-9990