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LGBTI groups lambast Trump’s ‘cruel’ move to block asylum seekers

LGBTI groups lambast Trump’s ‘cruel’ move to block asylum seekers

Donald Trump | Photo: Wiki asylum

Numerous LGBTI groups have condemned Donald Trump’s move to bar migrants seeking asylum in the US.

The US president passed an executive order blocking migrants from South America from claiming asylum if they enter the country via Mexico.

LGBTI rights organizations condemned the move as ‘cruel’.

Advocates said that claiming asylum was a ‘matter of life and death’ for countless migrants.

Some groups said they have worked with large numbers of LGBTI asylum seekers fleeing persecution from their home countries because of their sexuality and/or gender identity.

Trump signed the executive order three days after the recent midterm elections, which saw a spike in anti-migration rhetoric from numerous conservative politicians and commentators.

‘A death sentence for many in our community’

In response to the executive order, Tyrone Hanley, the Policy Counsel for the National Center for Lesbian Rights, said the move was ‘not only cruel, but will be a death sentence for many in our community,’ the Washington Blade reports.

‘President Trump’s plan would not only unlawfully limit asylum but would rewrite the character of our nation. For generations, America has been a refuge for those fleeing persecution in their home countries,’ said Hanley.

‘For many, asylum is a life and death matter,’ added Hanley.

Executive Director of the Transgender Law Center, Kris Hayashi, also released a statement lambasting the president.

‘President Trump in effect ordered violence and a possible death sentence against thousands of people seeking safety in the U.S.,’ Hayashi said.

‘This unconscionable rule severely limits the opportunity for people, no matter their circumstances, to apply for asylum, meaning that LGBT people and other communities who fear persecution and violence — groups that our own courts have already identified as eligible for asylum — will no longer have the opportunity to apply solely based on where and how they enter,’ the statement added.

Maine-based LGBTI rights group The Human Rights Campaign echoed these sentiments in a tweet, which read: ‘The Trump-Pence administration’s cruelty toward individuals seeking safety and refuge through legal channels is a retreat of our nation’s most fundamental values. The humanitarian consequences will be severe.’

Political stunt

Anti-immigrant rhetoric has been a constant theme of the Trump administration.

Earlier this year, the White House was widely condemned for implementing a policy which separated migrant children from their parents.

The US saw a spike in anti-immigrant rhetoric from many conservatives during the lead up to the midterm elections.

Trump was joined by conservative public figures warning against a migrant caravan headed towards the US.

The president ordered several thousand troops to the southern border to await the caravan.

Many critics were quick to point out that the caravan was still several hundred miles away from the US border.

Alarmist rhetoric about the caravan rapidly diminished after the midterm elections. Many liberal commentators thus claim that conservative fears over the caravan were little more than a political stunt.

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