President Donald Trump won a major victory last week when a provisional ruling by the U.S. Supreme Court allowed his administration to enforce a policy that effectively prevents most Central American migrants from seeking asylum in the United States. Patrick Kingsley of The New York Times took a closer look at Trump’s plan and found it is in keeping with a wider international trend.
Under Trump’s plan, migrants cannot apply for asylum unless they have already tried — and failed — to receive it in one of the countries they passed through on their way to the United States. Guatemalans would be sent back to Mexico, for example, while people from El Salvador and Honduras would be returned to Guatemala. Critics have portrayed Trump’s plan as a deviation from global rights standards given how unsafe those countries can be for their own citizens, much less for migrants.
But Trump’s plan is similar to a scheme used by Australia since 2012, Kingsley writes. Europe tried a comparable plan in 2016, but it didn’t work.