In news that will surprise absolutely no one, California and Massachusetts are sponsoring a legal challenge to Trump’s attempted amendment of a law that limits the amount of time that asylum-seeking migrants — and children especially — can be detained by authorities. Nineteen states have added themselves to the lawsuit. This brings the total number of California-represented legal challenges brought forward to the Trump Administration to a whopping 57.
Trump has a lot of support for making the change because his administration and several conservative media outlets have successfully spread the rumor that these asylum-seeking migrants have entered the United States illegally.
That isn’t the case.
In order to legally make a case for asylum in the U.S., migrants must first step foot in the country. They can apply if they are already living here (whether undocumented or not), but otherwise they must first cross into the country through a point of entry — such as El Paso.
And that’s exactly what the majority of the migrant population at the U.S.-Mexico border has done. Not only have they legally entered the country, but they’ve proceeded to legally apply for asylum here. And the Trump Administration has detained them for growing lengths of time, even though there are laws limiting how long the migrants can be kept in custody.
This should be easy for anyone to understand, conservative or not: the Trump Administration is flagrantly breaking the law; the asylum-seeking migrants are not. It’s very simple.
In addition, by law we are required to provide the migrants with basic necessities — because even our “prisoners” have rights. These include food, water, clothing, shelter and medical care when necessary. Those who have visited what have been correctly labeled concentration camps have pointed out that not only are our authorities falling short on nearly all of these basic necessities, but people have also died while in custody — and for no good reason.
The Trump Administration is actively trying to change the law so it can be said that the law was followed (retrospectively). Trump wants to hold these migrants “indefinitely,” i.e. as long as he wants. Trump wants to force migrants from non-border countries to apply for asylum in other countries along the way to stop them from getting to the United States.
According to Attorney General Xavier Becerra, “No child deserves to be left in conditions inappropriate and harmful for their age. The actions by this administration are not just morally reprehensible, they’re illegal. Children don’t become subhuman just because they’re migrants.”