RESIST: Asylum and Zero Tolerance in the United States

“It is almost certain that women will be killed as a result of this decision that will return them to their abusers.” -Denise Gilman, director of the immigration clinic at the University of Texas Law School

Last year, a mother fled Honduras where her husband continuously beat, starved and imprisoned her. Her own government refused to protect her; chastising her for reporting on a man and returning her to her abuser.
After several escape attempts, she and her two children reached the United States and asked for asylum. In court, she produced evidence to the judge-- scars of her beatings, Honduran documents dismissing her claims and threats from her abuser. As the US government has done since WWII, her family was granted asylum on the grounds of domestic abuse and gang violence. Yet if she were to arrive today, merely six months later, she would be detained, likely criminally prosecuted and her children would be separated from her.

In only six weeks, the combination of Trump’s Zero Tolerance and Session’s revocation of domestic abuse as a valid claim to asylum, have sent countless women back into life threatening environments and separated nearly 2000 children from their parents. These two policies, enacted separately but intrinsically linked are a direct affront to women’s rights. The enforcement has swiftly backtracked decades of US precedent protecting those who face persecution in their own country.

We believe that as a country of immigrants, we mirror those who arrive at our door.

We support addressing border crossing not as a criminal but rather a civil act and should be addressed while keeping families’ together- a consensual stance adhered to for decades of both democratic and republican administrations.
And we stand with women fleeing violent abusers and complicit governments as well as their children experiencing the sense of abandonment innate in separation.
We urge you to contact your congressmen and put pressure to stop these policies. - Maureen Post

Photo Credit : Pikul Noorod via Shutterstock