Marcia Brown

Marcia Brown is a writing fellow at The American Prospect

Recent Articles

Trump’s Latest Asylum Rule, Explained

How the interim final rule announced Monday could play out in the courts, and the devastating consequences it could have for asylum seekers

The Trump administration’s latest asylum rule is a draconian measure meant to stop asylum seekers from entering America. Any migrant who travels through a third country en route to the United States would be ineligible for asylum. It has immediately faced lawsuits , first by the American Civil Liberties Union and other groups just hours after the rule took effect on Tuesday and then by two other Washington, D.C., groups on Wednesday . The rule represents the administration’s true intent: They have no qualms about barring all asylum seekers, and if they must pay lip service to international law, they’ll do their best to bar individuals that do pass through the newly-fortified system from a path to citizenship. The first case , filed in the U.S. District Court of Northern California, has a hearing scheduled for Wednesday. Lee Gelernt, the attorney for the ACLU in the case, told me the ACLU is hoping that the judge will issue a temporary restraining order, which would...

As a Guatemala Asylum Agreement Fades, a New Trump Rule Threatens Migrants

An interim final rule from the Trump administration, which they say could begin as soon as tomorrow, could have a stronger effect than the rumored “safe third country” agreement. 

Last Friday, media reports , including the Prospect , indicated that Guatemala and the U.S. were ready to sign a “safe third country” agreement, which would force most asylum seekers coming up from Central America to apply in Guatemala. Under such an agreement between nations, asylum seekers would have to apply in the first safe country they set foot in. These are not new agreements—there are several in Europe and one between the U.S. and Canada —but this one would have relied on the questionable definition of Guatemala as “safe.” Because of the typical flow of migrants northward from the Northern Triangle countries, a safe third country agreement would consign virtually all asylum seekers from Honduras and El Salvador to file for asylum in Guatemala. Refugee advocates have said this would be incredibly dangerous for asylum seekers, and that Guatemala’s asylum system is far from ready to process and keep safe large numbers of migrants...

An Imperiled Border Agreement Could Doom Canada's Welcoming Immigration Policy

Canada’s safe third country agreement with the United States has become a flashpoint in upcoming national elections.

The Canadian government is quietly attempting to renegotiate a “safe third country” agreement it has with the United States. In doing so, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has had to highlight an issue that has become politically explosive and could create blowback for him in the national elections this October. The safe third country agreement between the U.S. and Canada stipulates that asylum seekers must claim asylum in whichever of the two countries they arrive first, as both countries are considered safe for asylum seekers under the agreement. Because immigrants traveling overland tend to flow north from Latin America, more people must claim asylum in the U.S. rather than continuing on to Canada, thwarting the Trump administration’s efforts to lower asylum claims. The situation represents an upending of expectations: At the same time the Trump administration is doing all it can to deter asylum seekers at the Mexican border, it has been content to allow this...

Booker's Highlight Was His Answer on Gun Violence

His neighborhood story was gripping; his buyback policy could actually work.

Wilfredo Lee/AP Images Senator Cory Booker speaks at the first Democratic primary debate in Miami. agenda_2020.jpg New Jersey Senator Cory Booker had the break-out he needed in tonight’s debates. Lagging in the polls at around 3 percent, Booker has fared worse than many thought he initially would. But tonight, not only was he the most-searched candidate during the debate, but he neatly stitched together a substantive argument about gun control. The majority of Americans agree with common sense gun control, he said, a position the Democratic Party has adopted writ large. But what I found even more compelling was his discussion about the low-income minority community where he lives in Newark, down the street from a drug treatment center and where more than half of all residents live below the poverty line. Although mass shootings tend to dominate the media, routine gun violence in black and brown communities should not be downplayed—and Booker made that clear on the debate...