With the immigration crisis growing, many aspects of this issue are quickly changing

 

The immigration crisis in our country is expanding and many old and new aspects of it are rapidly changing and shifting. On Sept. 11, the Supreme Court ruled in the Trump administration’s favor to implement a ban on nearly all asylum seekers coming through the southern border, according to a report from the Los Angeles Times.

The LA Times also reported that it was a seven to two majority vote in response to Trump administration lawyers’ emergency appeal. This is the second time recently that the Trump administration was able to pass their proposal “by going directly to the high court.

The new policy will render non-asylum seeking migrants “ineligible for U.S. asylum protections and referred for rapid deportation,” according to The Washington Post. Over the past 11 months, the southern border of the U.S. has been overrun with nearly 1 million migrants, which is nearly double the total number in 2018. 

Despite many of the migrants coming as a family group, the Department of Justice and Homeland Security said they will not make any acceptions for children migrants arriving at the southern border without their parents. 

According to NBC, many human rights and immigration activists have spoken out against this policy by claiming, “It is in violation of the international right to claim asylum regardless of how one arrives in the country where they are seeking protection.”

There are a few exceptions to this new policy; however, if migrants seeking asylum can prove sufficently that they have a fear of torture if they return home, they may be protected under the Convention Against Torture Act

Another recent development in regards to immigration are reports on the most recent updates on the wall that is being built on the southern border. 

On Sept. 16, the Pentagon and Department of Defense decided to halt construction on the three border wall projects in Arizona and California due to “insufficient contract savings,” according to CNN.

President Donald Trump also experienced controversy from his decision to use part of the Pentagons funds to build the border wall. It is unclear what will happen to those projects currently listed in filing, since Trump’s decision has been challenged by the House of Representatives and advocacy groups, according to CNN.

CNN also reported that as of Aug. 23, “the administration has updated roughly 60 miles of wall on the US-Mexico border” and continues using funds that were appropriated for its construction and from the Department of Defense. 

In an effort to control the numbers staying inside the U.S. before their court hearing in order to claim admission into the country, the Trump administration has erected numerous tent courts with the focus of aiding in the asylum backlog, according to Fox News. These tent courts are part of the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), also known as “Remain in Mexico” more colloquially and enables cases to be handled more quickly, in around 40 to 60 days. 

They say that’s better for the migrants, as it leaves them in limbo for less time [and] also serves as a disincentive for Central American migrants who do not have legitimate asylum claims,” according to Adam Shaw of Fox News.

These tent courts, however, have been accused by immigration advocates, such as the group Human Rights First, of being too secretive to the public and not upholding due process correctly, according to Fox News. In response to this, Trump administration officials recently made an effort to make the process more transparent to the public and offered tours of the tent courts for major news networks.

On APU’s campus, this issue hits close to home for many students. The Latin American Student Association (LASA) is a club whose main goal is to share their culture, community and traditions with others, according to Daisy Vargas, LASA president.

Vargas said their other goal is to help Hispanic and Latinx students feel at home on campus since it can be a culture shock coming to APU.

“[Immigration is] a sensitive topic [that] we don’t really go into depth with publicly [since] it does affect a lot of our board members directly,” Vargas said. “It can be a little triggering to talk about.”

However, Vargas said the club is not turning a blind eye. They are reaching out to an immigration center in Azusa to volunteer and help in anyway. The club is also looking forward to and discussing ways to start addressing immigration on campus. 

“We want to start talking about it more on campus [but] taking it really slowly because we want to see what’s the best way,” Vargas said.

In addition to reaching out to immigration centers, LASA also hopes to conduct meetings and workshops centered on immigration. The reason they are cautious though is because they “know that a lot of people don’t really like how closely it affects the people here on campus,” according to Vargas.

“Most of the time we just end up getting attacked more,” Vargas said. “So do we just stay quiet or say something and risk something else happening.” 

The issue of immigration is relevant to everyone’s lives, whether directly affected or not. While it may seem that it’s the same old issue over and over again, there are aspects of it that are constantly changing and new aspects coming into play. The effects of the new asylum law will soon become more and more evident and the different ways that each migrant situation is handled will also be shifting.