NPG Forum Paper Tackles Current U.S. Asylum Practices By Examining The Past And Exploring Current Remedies

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Who, exactly, is eligible for protection under asylum policies?


There are a lot of things the Trump administration can do to resolve the current border crisis, but getting rid of the asylum process is not one of them.

Negative Population Growth (NPG) has announced the release of a new research paper that hones in on the current asylum crisis by taking a look back at U.S. policies and where the nation stands now. The paper, titled The Asylum Crisis: What Can We Do?, written by NPG researcher Edwin S. Rubenstein, examines who should be considered a refugee based on the UN’s definition of the term.

Beginning with the somber story of the S.S. St. Louis in 1939, Rubenstein describes the time in history when 937 Jewish refugees fled Nazi persecution only to be returned to Europe because no country would accept the group. Because of this occurrence and others like it, years later, during the 1951 UN Convention on Refugees, the definition of refugees was redefined as “a person outside of his or her home country who cannot return home because of a ‘…well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.’” Rubenstein went on to say: “There are a lot of things the Trump administration can do to resolve the current border crisis, but getting rid of the asylum process is not one of them. We signed the UN refugee convention. Its standards have been added to U.S. immigration law, which the President cannot change.”

After establishing that the U.S. cannot simply opt-out of accepting all refugees seeking asylum, Rubenstein noted what President Trump tried to accomplish: “U.S. immigration law gives the President broad authority to restrict the entry of illegal aliens into the United States if he determines it to be in the national interest to do so. On November 8th, 2018 the acting Attorney General (AG) Matthew Whitaker declared that migrants crossing the southern border between official ports of entry would be ineligible for asylum… Had the rule been allowed to stand, illegal border crossers would have been subject to deportation. Unfortunately, ‘That rule was blocked by the courts.’” Because of the push back, Rubenstein goes on to describe three alternate remedies to solve the current crisis.

The first remedy was to weaponize the U.S. – Mexico trade policy which Rubenstein noted did, in fact, affect the amount of refugees seeking asylum: “According to the Pew Research Center, Mexico deported 64,000 migrants from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador in the first seven months of FY 2019.” The second remedy was the Safe Third Nation Law, of which Rubenstein states: “this policy emerged in July 2019, when Trump administration officials said they would deny asylum to Central American migrants who failed to apply for asylum in the first safe country they passed through on their way north.” The third remedy was a humanitarian program based in Mexico. This remedy “would open refugee application offices at U.S. consulates in Mexico and Central America …Applicants for refugee status receive more comprehensive vetting - which helps exclude criminals, terrorists, and other undesirables - than do asylum claimants. And illegal entrants who refuse to apply as special humanitarian refugees can be denied both entry and asylum under our laws.”

Rubenstein succinctly summarized the U.S. asylum issue, declaring: “Our border is out of control, and asylum abuse is the reason. Due to a huge number of bogus asylum claims, a process designed to provide refuge to the oppressed has become an enabler for out-of-control illegal immigration… Asylum was designed to protect individuals fleeing persecution, not those fleeing poverty. Until this distinction is firmly entrenched in legal practice, our national sovereignty will be at risk.”

NPG Executive Vice President Craig Lewis praised author Ed Rubenstein’s concise summation of the current asylum issues plaguing the United States, stating: “Ed’s ability to examine the facts of both what has happened in the past and the current tensions surrounding refugees seeking asylum in order to fully understand where the U.S. stands today, is exactly what we need. We must act now to slow, halt, and eventually reverse population growth in our nation. With the intention of reducing our population numbers, we cannot turn a blind eye to current events, instead we must continue to include these issues in our conversations.”

Founded in 1972, NPG is a national nonprofit membership organization dedicated to educating the American public and political leaders regarding the damaging effects of population growth. We believe that our nation is already vastly overpopulated in terms of the long-range carrying capacity of its resources and environment. NPG advocates the adoption of its Proposed National Population Policy, with the goal of eventually stabilizing U.S. population at a sustainable level – far lower than today’s. We do not simply identify the problems – we propose solutions. For more information, visit our website at, follow us on Facebook @NegativePopulationGrowth or follow us on Twitter @npg_org.

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