U.S. not only ‘safe’ na­tion

The Washington Times Weekly - - Letters To The Editor - JOHN A. LANZETTA Mi­ami

The long-stand­ing and salient prin­ci­ple of in­ter­na­tional law on asy­lum is that those seek­ing it beyond their own bor­der are sup­posed to make their claim for sanc­tu­ary in the “first safe coun­try” they come to. Even if we ig­nore any in­ter­ven­ing Cen­tral Amer­i­can coun­tries, the car­a­van of 1,000 il­le­gals may have tra­versed on their way to the United States, it’s clear the for­eign trav­el­ers ar­rived at a vi­able asy­lum coun­try when they reached Mex­ico. And some did claim asy­lum there.

But why not all of them? Af­ter all, if aliens claim­ing griev­ances so ur­gent and se­vere they had to flee their home coun­tries are for­tu­nate enough to find safety, food, shel­ter and even their own lan­guage in an­other coun­try that’s on the in­ter­na­tional com­mu­nity’s safe list, in­ter­na­tional asy­lum law has done its due.

That’s why those who nev­er­the­less chose to aban­don the sanc­tu­ary coun­try at hand to trek hundreds of miles far­ther to an­other coun­try, the United States, many with small chil­dren in tow, should have a tough sell con­vinc­ing U.S. im­mi­gra­tion ex­am­in­ers they are bona fide asylees and not just il­le­gal aliens fo­rum-shop­ping for a bet­ter eco­nomic life than their home coun­tries or Mex­ico pro­vide.

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