On the issues: Rep. Young Kim and Asif Mahmood on abortion, inflation and immigration
By KAMAL ANSARI
Updated 1:53 pm, Monday, April 1, 2017
Democratic Party of Northern Mariana Islands Rep. Elizabeth Young Kim
In late January, Elizabeth Young Kim, a Democratic Party of Northern Marianas Island representative, stood in an overflow room of the Senate, pleading with her colleagues to extend protection for those fleeing to the U.S. from the communist and authoritarian communist-controlled China. Kim was representing her late husband, Lee, who was the island’s chief financial officer and who had served on the U.S. Congress for 23 years, serving in the House of Representatives.
The Trump administration is refusing to accept claims for asylum from U.S. citizens and permanent residents from the mainland. U.S. authorities have stopped processing asylum claims at ports of entry as the Trump administration considers them to be a threat to national security. The administration has stopped providing information to U.S. consular officials on the whereabouts of those seeking refuge in the U.S.
In Washington, the administration is trying to limit legal immigration by denying permanent residency to many refugees and asylum-seekers who have been waiting for years to be resettled. The administration has reduced or frozen green cards for refugees, many of whom have been working and waiting for years in refugee camps in the Middle East and Africa.
The president’s executive order halting immigration from seven Muslim-majority countries was not only in violation of legal immigration law, it was in direct conflict with the U.S. Supreme Court ruling protecting immigrants and non-citizens of all faiths seeking to become U.S. citizens.
More than 8,000 refugee claimants remain in indefinite detention in a network of 13 detention facilities scattered across 11 states, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Those detained include an estimated 70 percent of those who would have been eligible for asylum under U.S. law, a