Mr. Murray seems to be advocating the gutting of the US asylum system with his two different positions in his letter regarding the asylum claim of Ms. Alvarado. First I feel the need to point out that it is clear that Ms. Alvarado was not "merely beaten" as Mr. Murray states in his letter.
That aside, Mr. Murray wonders why Ms. Alvarado didn't flee to some neighboring country where they spoke Spanish. But he also says the US, has a duty to provided safe haven to bona fide refugees and asylum seekers. From these positions it appears that only Canadians or Mexicans should be able to seek asylum here in the US. Perhaps not even Mexicans, since we are not a Spanish speaking country. Every country has a neighbor. Under Mr. Murray’s formula, all refugees and asylum seekers should seek help from their neighbor county rather than the US.
The US government doesn’t feel the same way and they shouldn’t. Only in cases where it is clear the refugee resettled outside their country do we question their ability to be granted asylum here in the US. The US is constantly telling the world that we will protect and help those that have been wronged. We wage wars to protect foreign citizens against persecution by their government or other groups in their countries. Is it any surprise that people who are persecuted seek safety in the arms of the almighty US? Also, as an alternative to asylum, Mr. Murray feels that our government can merely contact the foreign government and tell them to protect the individual. I wonder if that is his position in all asylum cases where it is a non-governmental entity persecuting the refugee, not just in this type of case. Under that theory, all asylum cases that are not specifically related to persecution by the government should be denied and we should simply ask the foreign government to protect the individual.
Congress seems to have recognized that working with a foreign government might not be all that easy. Congress (a body not made up of "bleeding hearts") allows asylum claims where the government did the persecuting or where the government will not protect the persecuted from some non-governmental entity doing the persecuting. I hope that Ms. Alvarado and her attorney’s fight her case all the way to the top if need be and pray that they are successful. If not, the US really needs to stop pretending we are the moral ruler by which the world should measure itself and stop holding ourselves out as the saviors of the world.
Justin G. Randolph, Esq.
Carpenter & Capt, Chtd., Chicago, IL
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