Latin American Countries Helping U.S. Keep Out African Asylum Seekers
Written by Luis Miguel
A number of Latin American countries are cooperating with the United States to keep out African migrants seeking asylum here.
Among them is Ecuador, which is closing its doors to would-be asylum-claimants who want to use the South American nation as a starting point to travel north.
Mexico, the traditional path of entry for those seeking illegal entry into the United States, currently has a virtual blockade near its southern border with Guatemala.
The cooperation comes as a result of economic leverage exerted by President Trump. Ecuador wants to remain on good terms with the United States as the two countries work out a trade deal. Mexico likewise is playing ball after President Trump threatened last year to raise tariffs on its southern neighbor if it did not help stop the flow of migration.
Many of the Africans currently attempting to enter America are from Cameroon, where widespread violence has prompted the U.S. government to grant the nation’s people asylum more often than applicants from other places.
But the Trump administration has sought to curtail the volume of asylum cases, arguing that the asylum program is “a scam” that is easily abused. One of the measures adopted by the White House has been to deny asylum to anyone who passes through another country en route to the United States but does not seek refuge there first.
The administration’s tough stance on immigration enforcement has shown results. Arrests at the border saw a dramatic 78-percent drop in January from a 13-year high last May.
Ecuador’s help seemingly goes against its constitution’s doctrine of “universal citizenship,” which allows nearly anyone to visit. In August, however, the Ecuadorian government stated that citizens of 11 countries need visas to enter — including Cameroon and six other African nations. Another half-dozen African countries already faced visa restrictions.
Ecuadorian leaders maintain that they remain dedicated to the “universal citizenship” concept but wish to avoid one that is too “open.”
“Universal citizenship is a principle that is not open to debate and not questioned in the sense that it is valid, an aspiration,” said Jose Valencia, the country’s foreign affairs minister. The challenge, he contended, is “to avoid a regime of universal citizenship that is so open we have to be subject to threats that can affect us and third countries.”
Ecuador hopes to obtain a favorable trade deal with America, which President Trump announced he was working on when Ecuadorian President Lenín Moreno became his nation’s first head of state to visit his counterpart in Washington in 17 years.
Trump spoke well of Moreno, drawing a contrast between him and his left-wing predecessor, Rafael Correa.
“Ecuador had a very unusual outlook on life but, with your great president, he realizes how important it is to get along with the United States,” President Trump said of Moreno in comments to the press.
Following the White House meeting last month, acting Deputy Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli remarked on Twitter: “Hopefully we can all work together to reduce illegal immigration out of Ecuador.”
According to a court data analysis conducted by Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse, Cameroonians won U.S. asylum in 81 percent of cases in fiscal year 2019. By comparison, the rate of asylum granting for all nations was 29 percent for all nationalities.
Other nationalities with high rates of acceptance included Ethiopians (77 percent), Eritreans (67 percent), and Nigerians (58 percent).
Because being granted refugee status can take years of waiting — and the Trump administration has cut the number of refugees it will accept — many African migrants prefer taking their luck with the asylum option, which requires arriving in a South American country and then traveling to the U.S. southern border by land.
Bolivia is currently the only country in the Americas to accept visitors from Cameroon and Eritrea without a visa. People from the Democratic Republic of the Congo and Nigeria need a visa to enter any country in the Americas.
More than 2,400 Cameroonians went to Ecuador in 2019, three times more than in 2018.
This comes as citizens of Western nations gain a heightened sense of the critical nature of the border and migration issues.
This week, Turkey opened the borders for Syrian asylum seekers and other migrants, giving them unimpeded access to head to Europe.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan made the move because the European Union has ostensibly failed to live up to its pledge to provide financial assistance to deal with the large number of refugees within its borders.
In the tensions that have ensued, Greek police shot and killed a Syrian refugee trying to illegally cross the border.
Luis Miguel is a marketer and writer whose journalistic endeavors shed light on the Deep State, the immigration crisis, and the enemies of freedom. Follow his exploits on Facebook, Twitter, Bitchute, and at luisantoniomiguel.com.
Courtesy of The New American