Letters to the Editor: Is asylum a ‘hoax’? Trained officers know a lot better than Trump

People demonstrate in support of asylum seekers at the border
Groups on both sides of the U.S.-Mexico border rally in support of asylum seekers in April 2018.
(K.C. Alfred / San Diego Union-Tribune)

To the editor: I was an asylum officer in Los Angeles for 10 years, a job I loved. I traveled and worked in foreign embassies. I interviewed people from all over the world. (“Asylum officers rebel against Trump policies they say are immoral and illegal,” Nov. 15)

Were some cases frivolous or fraudulent? Did some claims for asylum not rise to the level of persecution? Yes. But were some claims genuine? Would some of the claimants suffer harm and even death if they were to return to their countries of origin? Yes.

Officers are trained in adjudicating the validity of claims for asylum status. In addition, they must study both national and international refugee law.

Previously, migrants who claimed asylum would wait in the U.S for their immigration hearing. To send them to a contiguous country, to places that are among the most dangerous for those awaiting their immigration hearings, is immoral and illegal.


President Trump has called the asylum program a “hoax.” Is that what this administration would call the Holocaust and the genocides in Rwanda, Bosnia, Cambodia, Armenia? Were the people fleeing those perpetrating a “big fat con job” too?

Alba Farfaglia, San Clemente