Radio Atlantic: The Trauma at the Border

A migrant advocate shares the harrowing stories of asylum seekers and describes what the Trump administration’s new border policies could mean for these families.

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On Tuesday, Attorney General William Barr ordered immigration judges to stop releasing asylum seekers on bail. The move signals an even fiercer immigration policy that could include the return of family separations. A few weeks ago, the president threatened to close the southern border. Days later, he fired his Department of Homeland Security chief, who reportedly lost out to hard-liners in the White House.

This week on Radio Atlantic, Edward-Isaac Dovere interviews Taylor Levy, the legal coordinator at Annunciation House, a Catholic charity based in El Paso, Texas, that provides shelter to immigrants on both sides of the southern border. El Paso has emerged as a hot spot for migration recently. It’s drawn national attention for the number of people crossing there and for the conditions in which those people have been held.

Levy shares the harrowing stories of migrants she works with every day. What are these families escaping when they seek asylum in the United States? Why are they being held outside under a bridge? And does the Trump administration’s new “remain in Mexico” policy endanger them?

Listen for:

  • Why families are willing to endure the long journey and harsh conditions to get away from Central American gangs

  • What led to migrants being held for days in a pen under a bridge

  • What’s happened to asylum-seeking families forced to wait in Mexico