Plan to force asylum seekers to wait in Mexico flies in the face of faith values 

December 20, 2018
Washington, DC

Today’s announcement from the Department of Homeland Security outlining new protocol that will force asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their asylum claims are process flies in the face of faith values and needlessly places vulnerable people in danger. 

The very motivation for asking for asylum is based on the need for self-preservation. Forcing people to wait in Mexico for an undetermined amount of time in dangerous environments fundamentally ignores this need for safety.  

This measure effectively denies asylum by postponing it, and thus is a violation of international norms and laws. It's an international agreement to do the same thing Customs and Border Protection are doing every day, all along the U.S.-Mexico border: rejecting the right to ask for asylum by postponing its exercise indefinitely. 

This deterrence strategy severely limits asylum seekers’ ability to access due process. The lack of implementation details alone shows an abdication of our nation’s responsibility to welcome those who seek safety. The protocol includes no information on how individuals will have access to legal counsel or where or when their hearings will take place.  

Columbans urge the administration to reverse this decision and instead follow the lead of the border communities who have been welcoming and supporting those arriving at the border seeking refuge. 

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For more information
Contact: Wesley Cocozello, Communications and Programs Coordinator
Office: 202-635-5814 | Email: wcocozello@columban.org 

About the Columban Center
The Columban Center for Advocacy and Outreach (CCAO) is a ministry of the Missionary Society of St. Columban in the United States. CCAO works for structural change within the US and is guided by the Gospels, Catholic Social Teaching, and the experience of Columban missionaries standing in solidarity with marginalized communities and the exploited earth in 16 countries around the world.