2 As a record number of Central American asylum seekers descends on the U.S.-Mexico border, President Trump is pushing to keep them from entering the United States. He threatens to shut down the border and cut off aid to Central American countries and suggests the government "get rid of the whole asylum system." His efforts to crack down on this growing wave of migrants targets a system already overwhelmed by an immense case backlog. Here's what you need to know: When did the U.S. establish asylum protections? The U.S. established federal protections for asylum seekers in 1967, when it signed an international treaty that said people shouldn't be forced to return to nations where they face violence or persecution. The U.S. system requires that they convince U.S. authorities they have credible fear of such consequences. The U.S. Refugee Act, established in 1980 under President Jimmy Carter, cemented those protections, creating a permanent system for refugees fleeing persecution. An amendment of the Immigration and Nationality Act and the Migration and Refugee Assistance Act, the policy raised the annual ceiling for refugees from 17,400 to 50,000. Refugees or asylum seekers? What's the difference? Refugees apply for asylum while they're outside of the… Read full this story
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