Deportation to deadly countries is an evil we can avoid

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By Rafael Garcia, S.J.
Bishop Daniel Flores of Brownsville, Tex., last year questioned the morality of the United States deporting refugees seeking asylum, rightly treating their plight as a right-to-life issue. “I consider supporting the sending of an adult or child back to a place where he or she is marked for death, where there is lawlessness and societal collapse, to be formal cooperation with an intrinsic evil,” Bishop Flores said, “not unlike driving someone to an abortion clinic.”
Honduras, El Salvador, Guatemala and Mexico have been experiencing massive violence from gangs, often with the collaboration of law enforcement officials and the military. But according to the American Immigration Council, U.S. immigration courts granted asylum to only 1 percent of applicants from Mexico in 2012, and less than 10 percent of applicants from the three Central American countries mentioned above. These figures contrasted with acceptance rates of over 80 percent for asylum applicants from Egypt, Iran and Somalia.