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The Administration believes it can stem the tide of refugees coming from Central America by deporting those who have arrived in the last couple of years - but that only makes sense if those seeking refuge know about the deportations, and that such fear of deportation is more powerful than the fear causing them to leave. 


The Administration apparently believes that those fleeing don’t have genuine fears either because some are denied asylum, or because of what they are hearing from the Customs and Border Patrol agents who do initial screening of those they apprehend. This Vox article gets it exactly right: “But there's a reason that Border Patrol agents aren't in charge of evaluating asylum claims; they can be too dismissive of legitimate danger.” 


In fact, we repeatedly see people who have CBP forms completed in English where they allegedly said they had no fear of returning to their home country, but instead were coming to find work. These are forms signed by the refugee, but they claim the form and answers was not translated to them, they were told to sign it so they could be released to family. If that is what is happening, CBPs information can not be trusted.



The Administration is treating Central American refugees differently than those from other countries, it could be because this is the most immediate crisis on our borders, or it could be a continuation of the Administration’s high enforcement levels which resulted in Obama being called the Deporter in Chief. In any event, the people I am seeing in my office are young, generally single mothers and small children, who were fleeing domestic violence, drug and/or gang related violence, and sometimes religious persecution. While not all will ultimately win asylum, they certainly have legitimate fears of return and would not likely have been deterred from making an expensive and dangerous journey to this Country simply because some people had been deported before, which - after all - this Administration has been doing in a high volume for many years.

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