Monday morning, President Donald Trump pushed forth a new executive order calling for changes to the asylum seeker guidelines in the immigration system, essentially making it much harder to apply.
“The United States is trying to find a way to deal with immigration,” says Christian Peterson, Ferris State history professor, “Like it always has.”
The newest plan to attack the immigration problem by President Trump is to remove asylum protections from migrants if they’ve traveled through another country first.
This would include the thousands of Central Americans that have made their way through countries like Guatemala and Mexico on there way to the US.
“The counter argument to that is that these countries are a mess,” says Peterson, “Under international law, basically you can’t send people back to, or expect countries to process immigrants, that are unsafe.”
Peterson says a lot of this falls on Congress. Their inability to pass any sort of immigration reform leave the person in power, in this case President Trump, using executive orders to get something done and those usually lead to a lawsuit in court.
“Until Congress comes up with systemic immigration reform that deals with issues like the people who are already here and what to do with people at the border,” says Peterson, “You’re just going to keep waking up one day and they’ll be a new executive order touching on some aspect of immigration and people try to scramble to figure it out.”
If the order makes it through the courts, it would split cost and responsibility for these migrants with other countries, some that probably can’t handle it.
“These are countries that are already poverty stricken,” says Peterson, “These are countries that have weak government and violence is running rampant.”
If it falls in court, it will be on Congress and possibly the President again, to come up with the next step to stop the crisis.
“I don’t know anybody that doesn’t think it needs to be fixed,” says Peterson, “Nobody can agree on how to fix it. People just question the tactics rather than the goals.”
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