Migrant Caravan and Human Rights
Politics and Activism

Asylum Laws And The Caravan

Opinion: The US is breaking international human rights laws by denying entrance to asylum seekers. Here's what I know.


The Trump administration and their base have been hyper-focused on our southern border. We all remember the recent 35 days shut down which was a result of the President of the United States not receiving what he wanted in terms of funding the wall between the United States and Mexico (which he continually promised Mexico would pay for on the campaign trail). The result of The Trump administration's views of the southern border and the people who cross it have been devastating for thousands in a caravan of migrants all of whom are seeking asylum in our country. A significant number of some 13,000 migrants are families, single parents, LGBT folk, and people with disabilities. Caravans such as these are expected to continue unless the situation from which they are fleeing is resolved.

The United States has been handling this situation atrociously and embarrassingly. Not only has President Trump made grossly inaccurate, racist, and xenophobic comments surrounding the issues, but the United States has also, by United Nations experts, been accused of breaking international law and anti-discrimination standards. International Law is not something that is taught in United States schools (at least it is extremely rare for this topic to be covered by curriculum); so allow me to shed some light on all of the human rights laws the United States is violating during the administrations handling of the migrants and asylum seekers.

The United Nations created the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948 in the wake of the second world war. Article 14(1) of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights clearly states that all citizens of the world have the right to seek and be granted asylum to refugees. A refugee is defined as a person who is unwilling or unable to return to their original country of origin due to fear of persecution surrounding race, religion, gender, sexual orientation, etc.

The United States recognizes these international asylum laws and has its own federal laws surrounding seeking asylum. For the refugee to be granted asylum, they must establish their fear and then prove the basis behind their fear (Jews fleeing during the Holocaust as religious refugees are a very good example. The United States actually did turn away thousands of Jews, sending them back to their deaths.) Denying these people the right to pass through the United States to Canada or denying them the right to enter and apply for asylum is a violation of human rights law and of federal law, especially given that a refugee must be inside the country to apply for asylum. Additionally, the gassing of these refugees was a violation of human rights laws surrounding the proper treatment of refugees (and humans in general).

Why should the United States follow federal law? Because if the United States government does not abide by its own laws, why should its citizens? Why should the United States abide by international law? The United States actually pays for around 80% of the United Nations. In order to keep the United Nations as respected and as important as it should be, nations within it, especially the nation that pays for most of it, should abide by the rules, guidelines, and laws set forth by it.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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