WOLA: Advocacy for Human Rights in the Americas
9 Jan 2018 | Press Release

Trump Administration’s Claims of ‘Immigration Loopholes’ Ignore Realities at the Border

Fact Sheet Explains What’s Driving Increased Number of Families, Children Seeking Asylum

Washington, D.C.—The Trump administration has frequently argued that the increase in the number of families and children fleeing violence in their countries of origin and seeking asylum at the U.S.-Mexico border is a result of “loopholes” in U.S. immigration laws. This is a distortion of the reasons why an increased numbers of families and children are seeking protection in the United States, and is not an accurate characterization of the U.S. asylum process.

There has indeed been a sharp rise in asylum seekers from Mexico and Central America’s Northern Triangle region (Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador). U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) reports that more individuals from the Northern Triangle region sought affirmative asylum in the United States between 2013 to 2015 than in the previous 15 years combined.

WOLA has been tracking violence and migration in Central America for nearly 15 years. Based on this experience, here is a fact sheet that outlines seven facts fundamental to understanding the rising number of asylum requests by Central American migrants.