The Corner

What’s Asylum For?

The Christian Science Monitor has an editorial today on the metastasizing grounds for asylum. What started as a way to provide haven to people fleeing communism has turned into a way for ordinary illegal aliens from backward societies to get legal residence in the United States. We have granted aslyum to women fleeing primitive cultural practices like clitoridectomy, a handicapped boy from Pakistan whose countrymen saw his condition as shameful, women abused by their Latin or Muslim husbands, and homosexuals who were harrassed by their neighbors. Bad as these things are, it’s not our obligation to fix the social ills of the Third World; the Monitor (which is usually good on immigration) says in its editorial that changing our rules to admit victims of domestic violence “could raise global awareness of this issue.” There are other, better ways of doing that.

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