As U.S. President Donald Trump continues to capture the nation and world’s attention with an endless volley of tweets and other forms of incendiary public statements, members of his administration such as Attorney General Jeff Sessions continue to carry on with policy changes that have real and acute effects on people’s lives.
On Monday, he revealed while speaking to a group of immigration judges that after having already increased the intensity with which he’s come down on immigrants on other fronts, he would be changing the policy for asylum seekers to make it so that less people could get into the country.
He cast supposed abuse of the asylum as an issue with an almost apocalyptic scope, saying:
‘The asylum system is being abused to the detriment of the rule of law, sound public policy, and public safety –– and to the detriment of people with just claims to asylum.’
He continued on to offer a specific example of his issue with the current usage of the system for admitting asylum seekers to the United States:
‘Saying a few simple words and claiming a fear of return is now transforming a straightforward arrest for illegal entry and immediate return into a prolonged legal process where an alien may be released from custody into the United States and possibly never show up for an immigration hearing.’
On the one hand, it’s disturbing for the current top law enforcement official of the United States to freely bemoan due process being applied to immigration cases. The attorney general is supposed to be protecting the rule of law being applied through due process, not seeking to undercut it.
On the other hand, Trump and his associates have a long history at this point of blowing up issues with the immigration system well beyond their actual size. That’s how, despite the fact that attempted southern border crossings are continuing on with their overall generally downward historical trend, they find it reasonable and in order to seek to spend billions of dollars to put a wall along the entire border between the U.S. and Mexico. (To be clear, although crossings have gone up a bit since the initial part of Trump’s administration, overall they’re going down.)
Sessions claims immigrants to be able to make it into the country via saying a “few simple words” when HE HIMSELF notes in his remarks the existence of a multifaceted review system for requests for asylum.
Still, in line with his faulty depiction of the current immigration system, Sessions announced he would be taking concrete action to change it.
‘Today, exercising the responsibility given to me under the [Immigration and Nationality Act], I will be issuing a decision that restores sound principles of asylum and long-standing principles of immigration law.’
His immediate clarification was only that his decision will include “a correct interpretation of the law” that “advances the original intent and purpose of the INA.”
In the end, it’s another instance of the Trump administration cracking down on immigrants via reasoning that veers close to revealing that it’s just because they’re immigrants.
Watch Sessions remarks below.
Featured Image via Screenshot from the Video