US Asylum Laws Must Catch up With the Reality of Today’s Refugees

Op-ed by CLLAS Executive Board Member and Founding Director, Lynn Stephen

“I am going to ask for asylum,” Maria said. The mother and her three children, hailing from Honduras, hoped to gain asylum when they arrived at the US southern border in February 2019.

“They killed my father. We went to the police and they put the person who killed him in jail. But he paid about 150,000 Honduran lempira ($6,250) and they let him out. Then they came to threaten me and my brother with death because we went to the police. That is why I left.

Also, because my husband beat our kids and me all the time, and we are so poor.”

Two years later, on February 2, 2021, President Joe Biden signed an executive order seeking to attack the root causes of Central American refugees fleeing, extend asylum programs and resettlement capacity in the region, and review all the policies Donald Trump’s administration put into place to eliminate access to asylum.

This is an opportunity to fundamentally rethink asylum.

To read more, please find this piece on the Globe Post.

Thursday, February 18th, 2021 Uncategorized

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CLLAS Common Reading Brunch with author Helena María Viramontes / Photos by Mike Bragg / Courtesy of the UO Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art