Indiana residents may be aware that the Mexican government recently agreed to do more to stem the flow of migrants traveling from Central America to the United States after President Donald Trump threatened to impose tariffs. One of the measures Trump is asking for is what is known as a ‘safe third country” agreement. This would prevent those hoping to be granted asylum from reaching the United States as they would be required to submit their petitions in the first safe country they reach.
Immigration experts say that such a policy would completely change the way asylum is handled in the United States as the country only shares borders with Canada and Mexico, which are both safe countries. Asylum is granted to individuals who would face violence or persecution in their home countries because of their religious beliefs, political opinions, race or national origin, but Trump says the asylum system is being abused by thousands of economic migrants who do not meet the requirements.
The Mexican government has already agreed to hold migrants hoping to be granted asylum in the United States in border areas while their petitions are being processed. The agreement Trump is seeking would prevent any further such petitions. The European Union has a similar policy in place, which has led to a growing migrant crisis in maritime countries like Italy and Greece that are close to international trouble spots in Africa and the Middle East.
Migrants who wish to be granted asylum in America must meet the legal requirements, which involves convincing an immigration judge that their fears of persecution are genuine and credible. Attorneys familiar with U.S. immigration law may help individuals preparing for asylum hearings to collect evidence that judges could find compelling, and they could also explain the other paths available should their petitions be denied.