Black And African Asylum Seekers Say Trump Administration Is Using Physical Abuse And Coercion To Force Deportations

Black and African people seeking asylum say the Trump administration is issuing more deportations with the use of force and coercion, Yahoo! News reports. 

According to lawmakers, immigrants, advocates, and several legal complaints reviewed by the Los Angeles Times, Trump and his administration have been forcibly sending people who are seeking asylum back to their countries where they potentially face harm. Some of the asylum seekers are those who have been kidnapped, beaten, or tortured by armed rebels, and once they begin seeking refuge in the U.S., they are sent back to the countries they’ve escaped from.

The outlet reports that aside from Mexicans and Central Americans, asylum seekers from Africa and the Caribbean make up a small but quickly-growing number of more than 16,000 immigrants who are currently detained across the nation. Many of these asylum seekers are placed in the for-profit prison archipelago in the southern parts of America under the instruction of Trump’s administration.

Since Trump’s time in office, he has created several policies that restrict asylum, and he’s completely flipped the U.S. immigration system. President-elect Joe Biden will have to look forward to reversing decades-long private-prison contracts and more than 400 executive actions on immigration made by Trump. In addition, Trump’s term has left a record immigration court backlog of more than 1.2 million cases as well as a record-high asylum denial rates that reached nearly 70 percent last month, Molly O’Toole and Andree Castillo of Yahoo! News via the Los Angeles Times writes. 

In this time, Trump’s administration has shown great bias toward Black people seeking asylum. Yahoo! News reports that roughly 20,000 Haitians and Africans have traveled from South America to seek protection at the U.S.-Mexico border during Trump’s term. Biden has mentioned that he will reverse many of Trump’s restrictions on asylum and reform the immigration system as it stands. 

A Los Angeles Times article details the long list of filed complaints lawyers have filed with the Homeland Security Department’s Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and Inspector General’s Office. The cases include at least 14 Cameroonian asylum seekers at four detention facilities in Louisiana and Mississippi who say they were allegedly physically abused and forced into being deported. The alleged victims claim the officials’ actions went violated the U.S. and international law, including Convention Against Torture and due process rights. The Times interview nine asylum seekers, mostly from Cameroon, Haiti, and Ethiopia. More than 100 asylum seekers have reported that ICE is using threatening force to put them on deportation flights. 

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