President Trump has called the U.S. asylum program, enacted after World War II to help those being persecuted in their home country to seek refuge in the United States both a "scam" and a "hoax." Sunday's Last Week Tonight with John Oliver focused on just how wrong that is, and just how deadly that attitude has become.
"The Trump administration's attack on asylum has been focused, dedicated, and deeply resourceful," Oliver said. "I know that those aren't adjectives that you are used to associating with this administration, but in this one area, they've been truly disciplined about being truly evil."
After explaining the iworkings of the program, Oliver detailed its deterioration over the last four years. "The asylum process has never been easy, but this administration has made it absolute hell," he stressed. "Their policy of family separation has caused widespread outrage, but they have done so much more than that."
Oliver then spotlighted three other "cruel" policies that have been employed at the border under Trump — forcing asylum-seekers to remain in dangerous areas of Mexico to wait for their cases to get through immigration courts, sending them to apply for asylum in underequipped countries that could very well be the same ones from which they are seeking asylum, and exploiting the pandemic to not only shut down all asylum claims, but to actively revoke asylum that had already been granted to expel people from safety.
Last Week Tonight with John Oliver airs Sunday nights at 11:00 PM ET on HBO.
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Andy Hunsaker has a head full of sitcom gags and nerd-genre lore, and can be followed @AndyHunsaker if you're into that sort of thing.