WSRCAT Stands Against Trump's War on Asylum Seekers, Migrants and Immigrants
The global crisis of forced migration has become one of the great moral challenges of our time. A moral response to this crisis must begin with the obligation of human beings in relatively safe and prosperous countries to provide refuge to people fleeing impossible living conditions, including—prominently—fear of persecution or torture based on race, religion, nationality, political opinion or membership in a particular social group. The right to seek asylum from a fear of persecution is now understood as a foundational human right.
WSRCAT's steering committee recognizes that our anti-torture work must now include opposition to the government's abuse of migrant and immigrant human rights, including the right to asylum.
The reprioritization of our work began with the 2018 family separation tactics employed by the Trump administration as part of its “zero tolerance” policies toward migrants crossing the U.S.-Mexico border.
The traumas suffered by the victims of the family separation policies are a form of psychological torture, especially given the administration's admission that its harsh measures are intended to deter migrants trying to reach the U.S. Not only were countless migrants never reunited with their children nor children with parents, it is now well documented that family separations continue through the imprisonment and deportation of adults traveling with children and through ICE raids that terrorize, detain and deport undocumented immigrants, many who have lived in the U.S. for years. Lives are being destroyed before our eyes.
The forced separation of children and parents is a grave violation of core moral values and internationally guaranteed human rights. The policies that result in these separations are both cruel and illegal.
WSRCAT joins our allies in the immigrant rights community in saying NO! to these inhuman acts by the Trump administration.
We at WSRCAT also recognize that, according to research conducted under the auspices of the Center for Victims of Torture, 44% of refugees resettled in the U.S. have suffered torture.
Further, several of the administration's policies toward migrants and immigrants, too numerous to enumerate here, amount to cruel, inhuman and degrading treatment. Some of these policies have resulted in the uncounted deaths of migrants -- particularly border enforcement that forces people to take more dangerous routes across the border, deportation and “return” of asylum seekers to unsafe countries, and other policies that aim to restrict access to the U.S. for purposes of asylum.
Thus, consistent with our founding purpose, WSRCAT is now reprioritizing our work in response to Trump's war on migrants and immigrants, a war launched on defenseless civilians seeking to escape violence and unlivable conditions and a war on people who are desperately seeking our help.
We also believe that Trump's war has become the leading edge of far-right politics that include white nationalist and extreme conservative religious, and violent dimensions. Far-right politics rely on mobilizing fears and resentments and blaming others for people's troubles. Migrants, immigrants, and Muslims have become the opportunistic targets of choice in a concerted and fast-moving effort to transform our country into a closed and authoritarian bastion of privilege and power for groups who fear they are being displaced and replaced.
If the far-right continues to hold and tighten its grip on the reins of power, the loss of everything we hold dear will be placed in grave danger. This endangerment includes the imminent demise of human life and mass extinction of other life forms as climate catastrophe moves beyond human capacity to reverse it.
We also realize that the racism now focused on migrants, immigrants and Muslims is consistent with and reinforces and is reinforced by the deep racism against African Americans and all people of color; and is also connected to sexism in all its forms. We do not approach Trump's war on migrants and immigrants as an isolated matter.
We also emphasize the right of refugees to seek and enjoy asylum, a right firmly entrenched in domestic and international law. Asylum is a human right established in recognition of the moral duty to provide a safe, dignified environment to individuals and families fleeing violence and persecution. Not least, protecting asylum in the U.S. is also vital for fostering public understanding of the impossible living conditions that force people to leave their homes and the governmental and economic policies that contribute to those conditions.
WSRCAT pledges itself to defend the rights of all migrants, asylum seekers and immigrants.