Should the Central Americans Heading Our Way be Allowed to Apply for Asylum?

President Trump and the media are focused on an organized caravan of Central Americans traversing Mexico en route to the United States ostensibly to ask to be admitted for asylum. This, it turns out is an annual affair around Easter when weather improves the conditions for travel. But unlike previous years, a spotlight has been cast on the group by the president.

Mexico, which has allowed the Central Americans to enter its country is going through the motions of heeding U.S. concerns by announcing that they are screening the convoy participants for possible asylum in Mexico and issuing permits for temporary stays in Mexico to others. News articles note that Mexico’s record in accommodating Central Americans as refugees is not generous. But, offers of asylum by Mexico would not be significant because the Central Americans are aiming for el Norte (the U.S.). They are attracted by their friends and relatives who have preceded them in the illegal trek north. They believe they will not be denied entry, and will be released long before they receive an asylum hearing, and that they will be able to begin work here.

The question that is posed by this situation is, if these Central Americans have been given an opportunity to stay in Mexico as asylees, why should they be allowed to subsequently ask for asylum in the U.S.? The standard for a grant of asylum is codified in international law and practice. So, if they have been denied asylum in Mexico – which implies that the Mexican government does not believe that they would be subject to persecution if sent back to their home country – why would we not give credence to that finding and refuse them entry?


About Author


Jack, who joined FAIR’s National Board of Advisors in 2017, is a retired U.S. diplomat with consular experience. He has testified before the U.S. Congress, U.S. Civil Rights Commission, and U.S. Commission on Immigration Reform and has authored studies of immigration issues. His national and international print, TV, and talk radio experience is extensive (including in Spanish).


  1. avatar

    Maybe we should start charging any of these Illegal aliens helpers and jail them . It is a
    problem when the Democrats are breaking the law all the time under guise of helping

  2. avatar

    I blame the democrats for this bad behavior. And they say they love American to. The dems are lying to Americans citizens. And used us to believe they are one to do a better job. No way the democrats for history done same things . the old games in book. I am not buying anything what dems say.and God is no also to. Bad behavior from dems. They did it when GW Bush in the office. I do remember this with illegal immigrants. The democrats are destroy our constitution and community and country in USA. I don’t like them one bit or trust dems to what they say anymore. God is watching this mess that dems are making a mistake in do Americans wrong to pleasure the illegal we are Americans and value to and don’t illegal to build our states when we already did it. This is abused to us citizens.

  3. avatar
    Pete Slabovich on

    Time to stop being the worlds rescue country. We fought for our country and freedoms Leave those running away stay and fight for their own country and freedoms

    • avatar

      Absolutely, I did not fight but had to leave a very good job to spend two years in the Army and then 4 years in the Reserves. Let these people
      do their thing at home. I spent 13 months in Germany away from home and
      loved ones. I am tired of everyone going around with their hands out for my
      hard earned Tax Dollars.

  4. avatar

    Martin O’Malley, the Democratic governor of Maryland, was on Tucker Carlson and it was the usual double-talking flim-flamming say-nothing nonsense. After the usual talking points of how the wall is a waste and won’t solve anything, O’Malley was asked what his solution was, and he replied “immigration reform”, which is the typical nebulous answer. Pressed on what that meant, he finally said that the “vast majority” of all illegals here now should be “given a path to citizenship”.

    In other words, the very thing that is GUARANTEED to worsen the situation because it sends the very clear message that you get rewarded for your bad behavior. What possible good for this country can come from rewarding illegal entry, welfare abuse, and identity theft. These are the kind of dishonest people we think would be good citizens? It’s beyond obvious that the Democrats have become the party of putting the interests of scammers, cheats, and criminals ahead of our own citizens.

  5. avatar

    Yes to whom it may concern. My concern is, that President Trump will allow the military to back up the border patrol.

    • avatar

      In what regard? The are backing up the border patrol, freeing the bp to make arrests. Why would this POTUS do this? Obama and Bush didn’t do that when they send the NG to the border.

    • avatar

      Why? I’m serious, why? Obama did it, Bush did it – been done during disasters etc. What is your actual beef? Beyond hating Trump, seriously? Do you support enforcing our immigration laws and border security or not ? Simple question: Yes or No?

  6. avatar

    No Way, Plus Mexico take your Illegals back that includes Wet Dreamers and Anchor Away Babies.

  7. avatar

    The open letter published on their behalf made notable reference to the “caravan” group’s range of gender identities. This sounds to me like it was designed to appeal to American LGBTQ lobbying groups and legal aid groups, very deliberately laying the groundwork for an asylum appeal on the basis of not being “accepted” or enjoying rights in their homelands that they would expect in the US.

  8. avatar

    they better not come here, that’s all I know….they will be taking our jobs….I don’t think so

  9. avatar
    Robert RAINEY on

    These central ameria country’s are no different then Mexico. Been living in proverity all there life. Had a hard time bringing my wife up here from Colombia. She had over $80,000.00 and works hard as a CNA. Cost me over $6,000.00 We don’t take one cent from the gov. In 5 years
    This is all wrong to the people who who came here legal. Thousand’s on waiting list waiting to come here legal.

    • avatar

      I totally agree with you. You did it the legal way. These illegal migrants want to jump to the front of the line ahead of those doing putting in the time and money to do it legally. The problem is partly that liberals such as in California want open borders and a free for all in America. Illegal migrants read the news. They know the lax enforcement in America. I support Trump’s stance on building a wall on the Southern border, bringing in the National Guard, and a no tolerance policy. Illegal alien migrants have no right at all to enter our country. It is a privilege to come to America, but it is not a human right.

  10. avatar

    Gee, didn’t Trump already tell us that this particular mini invasion had already been ‘broken up’ or ‘stopped?’ And since Mexico has already acknowledged their presence within its sovereign territory, why is is OUR problem? So, my answer isn’t just ‘No,” it’s “HELL, No!” If Trump caves/cucks on this one, it’s all over. You will know for certain that all his talk about a “big, beautiful Wall” is just boob bait.

    • avatar

      Yes, it has been stopped and broken up to a degree; but many of those illegal migrants have their eye on America. Many have stated that as a fact. Even if they get asylum in Mexico, they are just a hop, skip, and a jump away from America’s borders. What will stop them from sneaking in? Mexicans sneak in all the time. Some of those migrants are being given 30 day Visa’s to get out of Mexico. Does anyone really think they are gonna go back to South America when they are so close to North America??

  11. avatar

    No way! This is the same sh*t they pulled about three years ago and got away with it. How many times do we let them take advantage of us like this? Asylum, my a$$!

    • avatar

      Trump is trying to get illegal migration stopped, but liberal Democrats fight him all the way along. In liberal cities such as Seattle and L.A. and San Francisco, they bring lawsuits against Trump. In CA, the governor is pardoning criminal illegals so that ICE cannot deport them. CA calls themselves a sanctuary state now. Illegals know that if they can get into America, they can be harbored and coddled in California.