Seeking Asylum is Not Illegal

May 1, 2019

Throughout Trump’s presidency, he’s been putting out one simple statement: “we need to build a wall”. The issue with this is that the people we’re trying to block out with the wall are the ones we should be welcoming with open arms. As it turns out, seeking asylum is absolutely not illegal. On the other hand, turning our back to those who need shelter and seek safety turns out to be a bigger, more illegal issue.


Photo: Sebastian Pichleron Unsplash  


Under the UN, seeking asylum is absolutely not illegal. In fact, the UN’s Universal Declaration of Human Rights actually states that, “Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” Because most major countries are a part of the UN, they are technically breaking the rule that they agreed to when they joined the UN.


The reason governments and major leaders established this law was because of the Holocaust. This major tragedy in WWII was extremely devastating, but its impact was far greater than it needed to be. Several countries turned Jewish people away as they tried to escape Hitler and Nazi rule, and these people were forced to turn away from safety and turn back toward Europe, where many ended up being brutally killed. After this senseless tragedy, countries vowed to provide asylum to those in need.


Now, the people who desperately are trying to seek asylum are no longer trying to escape the Holocaust, but that doesn’t make their day to day living conditions any better. Bombing in several parts of the Middle East is just one of the many day to day life-threatening conditions refugees across the world face today. Asylum is their right, not a choice that governments get to make. Natural Law guarantees that first and foremost, people have a right to life.  


Back in 2017, Trump issued a Muslim Ban, which would have hindered Muslim immigration into the USA. But this ban was barred from being enforced by the Federal Court. The reason this didn’t pass was also because the court determined that not all asylum seekers are set out to hurt citizens. Most of them just want, actually, just need, a better life where they are guaranteed life.


Seeking asylum is not illegal. It is actually the opposite, denying asylum seekers asylum, that is illegal. Asylum is legal under the UN and our Natural Rights. By committing to these organizations, the USA, and other countries worldwide, don’t have the option to decide the fate of those who need safety. They have to provide it to them.


Joanna is a high school student based in San Diego, California. She is an avid writer and reader and loves anything law or book related. She loves writing anything from poetry to novel work, and aspires to be a lawyer in the future.


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