With the most recent supreme court rule that declared President Biden must reinstate Trump’s old “Remain in Mexico” policy, we thought it appropriate to go through the history of the Trump administration’s foreign policy legacy.
Donald Trump’s Remain in Mexico policy is one of the most controversial aspects of his presidency. This policy, which forces asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while their legal challenges are processed, has been harshly criticized by human rights groups.
This article, we will discuss the history of the Remain in Mexico policy and its effects on both asylum seekers and American citizens.
Remain In Mexico
The plan doens’t only require such immigrants to remain in Mexico until their court date. It would also include funding for 1,000 new Border Patrol agents and a 2,000-mile wall along the US–Mexico border.
On May 16, 2018, President Trump announced that his administration was drafting an executive order that would impose a policy of automatic denial on anyone crossing the U.S. southern border illegally. People seeking asylum at official points of entry would have their applications processed normally.
Trump Era Immigration Policy
Three days later, President Donald Trump issued Executive Order 13867: “Border Security and Immigration Enforcement Improvements,” which limited immigration policies to try to reduce the number of Central American migrants entering the country and required certain classes of undocumented immigrants to be detained until their removal could be effected.
Two months later, Trump rescinded this previous order in favor of a new mexico policy.
The new rules would apply to anyone who illegally crosses the border from Mexico – including those seeking asylum, even if they say they fear violence in their home country.
Illegal aliens will no longer get a free pass into our country by lodging meritless claims in seeking asylumDonald Trump
Migrant Protection Protocols
Under current law, such immigrants must stay in the US while their claims are processed. The Trump administration wants to stop that practice so migrants don’t live in the country while waiting for years. Migrants often disappear and never show up at their court hearings.
According to an NBC News report, over 600,000 migrants had been ordered deported but were still living in the United States as of 2017.
Democrats and immigration advocacy groups said that the new policy would not deter migrants from crossing but would lead to more deaths.
Migrants who get turned away at official ports of entry could try to cross in remote areas without water or other means of survival, they said.
According to data from the Border Patrol, 4,264 people died while attempting to migrate between 1998 and 2018.
On the other hand, some immigration advocates said that migrants could use Trump’s proposal to manipulate the system by lodging meritless asylum claims to be allowed into the U.S.
Credible Fear Interview
The Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR) is an agency within the Department of Justice which includes an immigration court system charged with adjudicating all immigration cases within the United States.
A new rule proposed by ICE would require people applying for asylum at legal ports of entry to pass a “credible fear” asylum screening.
If an asylum officers discovers that someone’s claim is not credible, they could require them to return to their home country before making an application for asylum in the US.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association President said that Trump’s order was a “significant departure from current policy” because most migrants who arrived in family units were released while they waited for their asylum hearings.
The number of immigrants caught on the southwest border with Mexico increased dramatically beginning in May 2018. Most of these people came from Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras. Most immigrants are asylum seekers traveling without documentation.
The Trump administration have argued that the remain in mexico policy is a good idea to keep the country safe. They claim that our borders are being controlled because of this policy. They have argued that the immigration ban will stop crime and terrorism in the country.
Meanwhile, critics argue that those who are already in the country would be affected the most. The critics say that the president’s administration cannot legally implement this policy as he does not have legislative authority.
They also argue that there is a law against discrimination of immigrants and asylum seekers, which would not allow such a policy.
Mexico Policy Pretexts
The Trump administration had announced the remain in mexico policy in late January. The said policy was not something that came out of nowhere. Rather, it was a part of his campaign promises even before he became president.
The Trump administration may have thought that they had issued an executive action that would keep Americans safe.
Still, it seems like they did not do their homework very well before putting a policy in place which can actually increase hate crimes in the United States itself. Anyone could have predicted the backlash and protests by various groups such as human rights organizations, lawyers, and leaders of different countries worldwide.
President Trump signed an executive order on January 27th, 2017, this past Friday, which banned all refugees from Syria, Iraq, Iran, Libya, Sudan, Somalia, and Yemen for 90 days and immigrants from these countries.
This ban was widely controversial because of how it is being implemented without regard to people’s rights. The White House response on Twitter was, “we will continue to show compassion to those fleeing oppression but we will do so while protecting our own citizens and border.”
There is no doubt that there will be more demonstrations against this issue, with protests also spreading across other major cities such as New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Boston, and of course, Washington DC.
Related: Unjust Laws Examples
As a reminder: When people are accused of committing crimes, they are given due process – which includes a trial or an opportunity to appeal their case. If someone has been accused of a crime and is legally allowed to leave the country, then it can be “on their own recognizance,” meaning that they are only required to promise in court that they will return for any future court dates.
If someone is not legally allowed to leave, however, it is likely that bail has been set or an ankle monitor has been installed, and then they are required to stay in the country while their legal challenges are settled.
Asylum Seekers Arriving
These people – who are crossing between ports of entry – haven’t been arrested, and so they should still be able to leave legally, right?
Usually yes: Due process means that someone has a right to argue why they should not be held at a federal prison, and if successful, they may be released after paying bail or while wearing an ankle monitor.
It is also completely legal for undocumented immigrants who are not accused of committing any crimes to enter the US legally. Still, they often need to wait a long time before doing so.
So for that 11% of children who were separated from their parents – what happens now? They can either be deported or processed as “unaccompanied minors.” The Remain in Mexico policy says that any parent (or guardian) with custody of an immigrant child can choose to go back to Mexico without the child.
Remain In Mexico Policy Effects
The Remain in Mexico policy has had a number of negative consequences for both immigrants and American citizens.
First and foremost, the policy has put immense strain on the already overburdened immigration court system.
In addition, the policy has resulted in a significant increase in the number of immigrants who are forced to live in squalid and dangerous conditions in Mexico.
Finally, the policy has also led to a decrease in the number of immigrants who are able to successfully apply for asylum.
Joe Biden Vs Remain In Mexico
Everything was going well until the supreme court happened.
During his first week in office, President Biden signed an executive order that revoked the remain in Mexico policy. This decision was widely praised by human rights advocates, as the policy had put asylum seekers in danger.
In a statement, Biden said that the policy was “fundamentally contrary to our values.” He also announced that the United States would be providing $86 million in aid to support asylum seekers and refugees in Mexico.
The Biden administration has made it clear that they do not support the Trump administration’s treatment of asylum seekers. They have stated that they will be working to create a more humane and compassionate immigration system.
Donald Trump’s foreign policy legacy is starting to look pretty clear. He did a lot in such little time that we can only guess what the future holds for asylum seekers.
Donald Trump was criticized by many on both sides of the aisle who say he lacks knowledge about international politics and diplomacy.
Still, others argue he could positively affect America’s standing in the world because of his willingness to call out other leaders when they disagree with us or act unfairly towards us.