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UN ‘deeply concerned’ by US plan to ban refugees claiming asylum

Meanwhile Trump continues to demand Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib leave the country

THE new US ruling barring asylum to most refugees who cross into the country from the Mexican border will endanger vulnerable people and “is not in line with international obligations,” United Nations refugee agency the UNHCR said yesterday. 

President Donald Trump’s administration announced on Monday that it would effectively end asylum for anyone coming across the Mexican border who had passed through another country, a policy that will affect hundreds of thousands of people fleeing violence and persecution. 

Only if a person has been denied asylum elsewhere will they be allowed to apply for protection in the US. 

The UNHCR said yesterday that the administration’s new rule “excessively curtails the right to apply for asylum, jeopardises the right to protection from refoulement, significantly raises the burden of proof on asylum-seekers beyond the international legal standard, sharply curtails basic rights and freedoms of those who manage to meet it and is not in line with international obligations.”

“We understand that the US asylum system is under significant strain,” UN high commissioner for refugees Filippo Grandi said yesterday, adding that the agency was ready and willing to help alleviate it.

“But we are deeply concerned about this measure.

“It will put vulnerable families at risk. It will undermine efforts by countries across the region to devise the coherent, collective responses that are needed. This measure is severe and is not the best way forward.”

Meanwhile, Mr Trump continued his Twitter war against four Democratic Party congresswomen who spoke out about the conditions they had witnessed inside US concentration camps for migrants. 

After tweeting at the weekend that Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Ilhan Omar, Ayanna Pressley and Rashida Tlaib should “go back” to the “broken and crime-infested” countries “they came from,” the president took to the social media platform again on Monday and accused the four members of the House of Representatives of being “communists,” “socialists,” “anti-USA,” “anti-Israel,” “pro-al-Qaida,” “radical leftists” and more. 

"We will never be a socialist or communist country,” Mr Trump posted. 

Then all in capitals, he wrote: “If you are not happy here, you can leave!

“It is your choice, and your choice alone. This is about love for America. Certain people hate our country.”

Ms Ocasio-Cortez reacted by saying: “Trump has decided he does not want to be president of the United States. He does not want to be a president to those who disagree.

“And he’d rather see most Americans leave than handle our nation’s enshrined tradition of dissent. But we don’t leave the things we love.”

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