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Opinion The arduous, traumatizing path at the border

Border Patrol agents on horseback ride past a section of the U.S.-Mexico border wall in Calexico, Calif. (David Maung/EPA-EFE/REX/Shutterstock)

Applying for asylum is arduous, and it’s only getting worse. The Oct. 30 front-page article “The new path at the border” seemed to suggest that asylum seekers are taking a shortcut. That is outrageous. Applying for asylum is a legal process that is difficult, exacting, traumatizing and dehumanizing, and it’s only getting worse.

My organization works every day with immigrants running for their lives in search of a bridge to safety. We have heard countless stories from women, children and families from Central America who endured horrific abuse and violence, feared worse and fled here in search of protection. If anything, in the past few months, the administration has made it even more difficult to get asylum by attempting to narrow the law, undermine the independence of the immigration courts and chip away at due process. It now plans to separate, prosecute and indefinitely jail children and families seeking asylum. It is our obligation under international law — and as human beings — to uphold clear pathways to protection for those who seek asylum, not to slam the door in their faces.

Archi Pyati, Falls Church

The writer is chief of policy with the Tahirih Justice Center.