The immigration conundrum to craft policy that ensures border security and safeguards human rights is grave and complex. Individuals fleeing religious persecution made finding refuge part of our heritage since colonial times. This American tradition has enshrined our values to the world. This essay is limited to summarizing the asylum process and recent events through the summer of 2018 which affect it. Policy changes are ongoing. The asylum process is complicated by illegal immigration. The surge in migrants arriving at and/or crossing the border has led to controversial policies over the years. Unlike those who illegally cross the border and remain unknown to law enforcement, everyone who makes an affirmative asylum claim to a United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) officer, or a defensive asylum claim in immigration court, has been thoroughly vetted through identity, criminality, and terrorism background checks. Granting refuge to those fleeing persecution reaffirms the values of a country that is, as Lincoln richly stated, the last best hope of Earth. Comprehensive immigration reform is needed on many immigration issues, two of which are to ensure border security and safeguard the asylum-seeking process.
I would like to profoundly thank the indispensable Jill Taft-Kaufman. Her sterling editing and stellar acumen, as always, significantly improved my work.
Musolf, G. (2019), "The Asylum-seeking Process: An American Tradition", Conflict and Forced Migration (Studies in Symbolic Interaction, Vol. 51), Emerald Publishing Limited, pp. 11-42. https://doi.org/10.1108/S0163-239620190000051002Download as .RIS
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