The US asylum system is deeply flawed. But there are ways to fix it

 

Migrants in San Antonio, Texas, where two planeloads of mostly Venezuelan migrants got sent from Martha’s Vineyard in Massachusetts.

In the United States, Asylum is a place on a map. Today, the roughly 1,000-person, predominantly white, scattered township sits quietly along the Susquehanna River, about 60 miles north-west of Scranton, Joe Biden’s birthplace.

But more than two centuries ago, Asylum hosted the crème de la crème of French society – displaced aristocrats, military officers, business owners, secular clergy – hoping to manifest another Paris in the Pennsylvania woods.

These refugees fled a violent revolution – and an uprising against slavery in a then-French colony now called Haiti – to demand not only safety but comfort in our fledgling republic. Lore suggests “no place in America ever held at one time, or in so short a time, so many persons of noble birth,” and that even Marie Antoinette was destined to be there, before she met the guillotine.

The Frenchmen and women frolicked away their 1790s playing backgammon and drinking brandy. Then, after Napoleon Bonaparte invited them to reclaim their sumptuous estates back home, the vast majority repatriated across the Atlantic as quickly as they had come.

Such wealthy, white elitists fickly seeking luxury as much as sanctuary are hardly the people who spring to mind when we think of asylum seekers today. But somehow, they and their cultural descendants have come to embody “ideal immigrants” in the most powerful corners of the American imagination, a testament to how white supremacy has gotten so deeply entrenched in the US immigration system.

Meanwhile, at the US-Mexico border – often in defiance of domestic and international laws – displaced people from across the global south are routinely denied access to even requesting what should be a universal human right.

If left unchecked, the bleak future of US asylum protections in a system that has long been deeply flawed and is now nearly fatally broken is not difficult to predict. We are already living its prologue, as our government knowingly strands thousands of vulnerable migrants – primarily Black and brown people from Latin America and the Caribbean – in dangerous cities abroad to be kidnapped, raped, murdered and otherwise attacked, or expels them to countries where they are stranded, tortured and killed.

 

n the United States, Asylum is a place on a map. Today, the roughly 1,000-person, predominantly white, scattered township sits quietly along the Susquehanna River, about 60 miles north-west of Scranton, Joe Biden’s birthplace.

But more than two centuries ago, Asylum hosted the crème de la crème of French society – displaced aristocrats, military officers, business owners, secular clergy – hoping to manifest another Paris in the Pennsylvania woods.

These refugees fled a violent revolution – and an uprising against slavery in a then-French colony now called Haiti – to demand not only safety but comfort in our fledgling republic. Lore suggests “no place in America ever held at one time, or in so short a time, so many persons of noble birth,” and that even Marie Antoinette was destined to be there, before she met the guillotine.

The Frenchmen and women frolicked away their 1790s playing backgammon and drinking brandy. Then, after Napoleon Bonaparte invited them to reclaim their sumptuous estates back home, the vast majority repatriated across the Atlantic as quickly as they had come.

Such wealthy, white elitists fickly seeking luxury as much as sanctuary are hardly the people who spring to mind when we think of asylum seekers today. But somehow, they and their cultural descendants have come to embody “ideal immigrants” in the most powerful corners of the American imagination, a testament to how white supremacy has gotten so deeply entrenched in the US immigration system.

Meanwhile, at the US-Mexico border – often in defiance of domestic and international laws – displaced people from across the global south are routinely denied access to even requesting what should be a universal human right.

If left unchecked, the bleak future of US asylum protections in a system that has long been deeply flawed and is now nearly fatally broken is not difficult to predict. We are already living its prologue, as our government knowingly strands thousands of vulnerable migrants – primarily Black and brown people from Latin America and the Caribbean – in dangerous cities abroad to be kidnapped, raped, murdered and otherwise attacked, or expels them to countries where they are stranded, tortured and killed.

The US asylum system is deeply flawed. But there are ways to fix it

Law Office of Sergiy Fedorov
Call/text attorney Sergiy Fedorov (916) 769-9498 or email fedorovlawoffice@gmail.com to set up an appointment.
Once working on your case, I will always communicate personally, not through secretaries or assistants.
Address: 3550 Watt Ave, suite 140, Sacramento, CA 95821

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