US Policy Driving Asylum Seekers

The article Women Migrants Are Fleeing Countries The U.S. Helped Decimate provides a much-needed look at how the violence driving people to seek shelter in the U.S. has its roots in American foreign policy. It says in part:

Since the day Donald Trump began his run for the presidential office, he has promoted the idea that people who flee to the U.S. are bringing their problems here.

But as his administration takes ruthless steps to discourage asylum-seekers, experts and advocates are working to remind Americans — and the world — that some of the violence driving people to seek shelter in the U.S. has its roots in American foreign policy.

Take domestic violence. Today, a large proportion of people trying to enter the U.S. across the Mexican border are Central American women and children fleeing abusive family members. In June, Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced the U.S. would no longer recognize domestic violence as a valid basis for an asylum claim, saying, “the asylum statute does not provide redress for all misfortune.”

But domestic violence in Central America is not the product of random misfortune, advocates for these asylum-seekers say. The region’s civil wars, which became bigger and more brutal because of U.S. intervention, created a generation of abusers and decimated the institutions that ought to have kept survivors safe.

or many decades, but particularly in the 1980s, the United States funneled billions of dollars in military aid to authoritarian Central American governments with the stated goal of combating communism. The funding, equipment and training transformed civil wars in Guatemala and El Salvador into conflicts of exceptional brutality. Government forces, sometimes trained by the United States, often exterminated whole villages. In El Salvador, a country of a few million people, 75,000 people died; roughly a fifth of the population fled. In Guatemala, a truth commission would later blame the degree of brutality on training military officers received at the U.S.-run School of the Americas…

Read on for much more.