Yesterday, September 4th, Politico and WAPO broke a story about USCIS Asylum Division Chief, John Lafferty, who was suddenly reassigned to the Potomac Service Center in Arlington, VA. Politico gave this reasoning for his departure; “The White House blamed Lafferty, who has led the asylum division for the past six years, for an inability to toughen asylum standards, according to one current DHS official”.
First of all, why is our goal as a nation to make it harder for people fleeing violence and persecution to seek refuge in our country? Just in that you can see a grave misidentification in the values we have.
In particular, the administration has sought to tighten the standard to claim “credible fear” of persecution in one’s home country. The credible fear test is the first step in certain asylum claims, and the administration contends it allows people to enter the U.S. even if ultimately they won’t be granted asylum.
Everyone who follows this administration’s moves in immigration policy knows where this is coming from, and it is coming from one man, Stephen Miller. Stephen Miller has singlehandedly created a team and ousted dissenters, with the sole purpose of winning on a politics based on fear and advising the President based off of racist policies and nativist sentiment.
Mr. Lafferty was brave enough to speak out against the injustices in the administration with regards to the asylum process. He was the voice of reason in the midst of an administration of chaos, and he got axed for it.
The question we need to ask ourselves is, are we ready to do the same? Are we ready to stand up to the Stephen Miller’s of the world and hold them accountable for the lives they are ruining with their policies?
For the sake of the soul of our nation and the countless souls of those seeking asylum, I pray that we are.