Why I Quit My Job Carrying Out Trump’s Immigration Policies | NYT Opinion


I started up the asylum
office in September 2017 and I was an asylum
officer for two years. I was asked to do
work that I believe to be illegal and immoral. Ultimately I had
to voice my dissent and quit. And the asylum
program is a scam. I didn’t think of myself
as a whistle-blower but I guess, I guess I am. Most victims of gang violence
and domestic abuse will not qualify for asylum. Before I sat down and
really figured out that it was illegal, I was
able to sort of disassociate. It’s just another bad thing
that was happening by this administration but
it didn’t directly affect me. Trump has proposed charging
a fee to process the legal asylum applications. Our country is full. Can’t take it
anymore. I’m sorry, can’t happen, so turn around. That’s the way it is. The government is sending
them back to Mexico. It’s an expansion of
the controversial Remain in Mexico policy. The administration is clearly
trying to destroy the asylum program. The standard for
asylum was essentially a 1 in 10 chance of being
persecuted in your home country. But with Remain
in Mexico, the entire nature of the work changed. The level of proof that we are
requiring of people to show that they would be
harmed in Mexico is much, much,
much, much higher. A migrant has to
show that it’s more likely than not,
through a phone line that’s disconnecting, actively denying
them access to a lawyer, not giving them any time
to rest, not giving them any chance to gather
or produce evidence. Everybody fails. I knew by leaving I was just another
individual that was protesting and
leaving and making the office that much weaker. So I have guilt I
think for that and I have guilt for not
pushing the issue further while I was still
an asylum officer. I heard stories from
other asylum officers where they interviewed
people who were literally raped by the police
in Mexico and then the supervisors were
saying, “That’s not enough.” That you haven’t shown maybe
that you can’t move somewhere else in Mexico. So even though you’ve
clearly been harmed in Mexico by the government
in Mexico, we’re going to say you can still
safely live in Mexico. I was both very sad and
angry at the same time because what is the
purpose of this? It was like this little
window into how bad things happen in the world. This is how you get a
group of good people that are in a position to
try and do good and slowly pivot them to do bad. This isn’t a partisan issue. It is in Congress’s
power to stop these illegal activities. I mean, this is a
question of who we are as Americans, right? This is a question of
whether we continue we continue to shut our
door on people in need and to reject individuals that
we say we’re going to accept on the Statue of
Liberty, or if we embrace the ideal of
America that we all want to believe in. We’re just rejecting it,
we’re destroying that ideal and we’re becoming
the opposite.

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