Late last week, the Trump administration declared in a proclamation that it would deny asylum applications to anyone who entered the country through illegal ports of entry, even though it has been clear for months that asylum-seekers are being denied access at official ports of entry. It was the latest attempt by the administration to discourage migrants, primarily from Central America, from coming to the United States.
In the recent pre-election fervor, President Donald Trump likened the caravan of Central Americans, which is slowly making its way north from Honduras and into southern Mexico, to an invasion. Yet the latest caravan was notable not for the number of migrants—roughly 1,500 Central Americans migrate north toward the U.S. daily—but the fact that they were traveling together. Migrants, who have been subjected to horrible abuses on the journey northward, have increasingly sought safety in numbers.
Still, the administration responded by militarizing the U.S.-Mexico border and restricting access to asylum, which will likely lead to several legal challenges. What administration officials fail to acknowledge is that these efforts are unlikely to stem the flow of migrants from Central America. On top of that, they endanger already vulnerable populations.