A new asylum policy has taken effect at the U.S.-Mexico border which eliminates gang violence and domestic assault as credible fear claims.
Back in June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced that the United States would no longer consider the threats of gang violence and domestic assault as credible fear claims to gain asylum.
That policy will begin to take effect today even as a detained immigrant has committed suicide at one of the many U.S.-controlled immigrant detention centers.
Efrain De La Rosa was found dead by suicide at the Stewart Detention Center in Lumpkin, Georgia.
The facility is owned and operated by CoreCivic, formerly known as Corrections Corporation of America.
De La Rosa was facing possible deportation back to his home country of Mexico and was being held in isolation.
He is the eighth detainee to die in Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) custody this year.
Marco Antonio Munoz was also found dead by suicide last month after having been separated from his wife and son.
It is very possible that the new asylum policies will result in increased suicide rates as people face the inevitability of death should they be forced to return to their native countries.
A significant majority of those seeking asylum are doing so for the exact reasons Sessions says are no longer credible.
Thousands of women and children are threatened by domestic and sexual assault, and as the children grow up, they become vulnerable to the threat of gangs and gang violence.
Women and girls face rape and assault their entire lives, and boys and men face unmitigated violence.
Just last month a 19-year-old deported dreamer named Manuel Antonio Cano Pacheco was found with his throat slit after he was attacked by the very same gang he had tried to escape by going to the U.S.
In 2014, Aminta Cifuentes set the standard for domestic assault based asylum claims after repeatedly asking Guatemalan authorities for protection only to be found by her abusive husband and beaten so severely that her baby was born prematurely and with bruises.
Because of the dynamic that exists between law enforcement, the government, and the drug cartels in Central and South America, gang violence and domestic and sexual assault are quite literally the greatest threats people face.
It’s important, also, to remember that this dynamic exists in these countries largely, if not entirely, due to U.S. intervention which has led to regime changes, coups d’etat, and the general destabilization of both governments and economies.
Therefore, for our government to turn around and eliminate the very asylum claims that people depend on when we created the problem in the first place is not only irrational but cruel and inhumane.
Iron Triangle Press will continue to follow this story.