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Letter: U.S. should not turn away those seeking asylum

A recent letter writer talked about how Trump’s wall will help with family separations. I think it would be helpful if people remembered to differentiate between immigrants, who are seeking to enter the United States either through legal or illegal means and asylum seekers, who are people who leave their own country, often for political reasons or because of war, and travel to the U.S. hoping that the government will protect them and allow them to live here.

Asylum seekers are not trying to sneak into the country. They are individuals who enter the United States at the border and tell a Customs and Border Protection (CBP) official that they fear persecution or torture and that they wish to apply for asylum.

Asylum seekers must be physically present in the United States to start the process. They are referred to an asylum officer who determines if the asylum seeker has a credible fear of persecution or torture. Those found to have a credible fear are referred to immigration court to proceed with the asylum application process. Thus, a wall will not stop these individuals. Brutal family separation policies will likely deter asylum seekers who are often pursuing asylum to protect their children. However, do we want to be a country that treats people this way?

Albert Einstein, Madeleine Albright and Henry Kissinger all sought asylum in the United States and greatly enriched our country, grateful for the new life that their families established here. Remember the golden rule, America.

Julie Jacobs Henry


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