INSIDERS: Addressing the US border crisis as a humanitarian issue, rather than security threat

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Haitian migrants use a dam to cross to and from the United States from Mexico, Friday, Sept. 17, 2021, in Del Rio, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)

Part 1: What does it mean to seek asylum in the United States?

The United Nations Refugee Agency defines asylum as “a form of protection which allows an individual to remain in the United States instead of being removed (deported) to a country where he or she fears persecution or harm.”

Under U.S. law, people who flee their countries because they fear persecution can apply for asylum. They have to be physically present in the U.S. or be seeking entry into the U.S. at a port of entry. If granted asylum, they have the right to stay in the U.S.

Jody Mashek, co-legal director with the Iowa Migrant Movement for Justice, discussed how the asylum process can be a misunderstood concept. And Racheal Duang shares her story about fleeing with her family from South Sudan in 1983 when bombings began. She wants Iowans to better understand why some people feel like they have no choice but to leave their home country and search for a better life in the United States.

Part 2: Addressing the US border crisis as a humanitarian issue, rather than a security threat

Some Iowans were critical of Gov. Kim Reynolds’ recent trip to the US-Mexico border. Reynolds focused on security concerns at the border, but some argue she missed the most important factor: the suffering people desperately seeking help in the United States.

Jody Mashek said she fears too many Americans simply don’t care about the suffering of the desperate people arriving at the border.

Part 3: Man attends Trump rally to give out sanitizer, later tests positive for COVID

An Illinois man is not a fan of Donald Trump, but he came to Des Moines with thousands of others last weekend who were. It didn’t end like he expected. (UPDATE: Marc Daniels told WHO 13 that he tested positive for the virus with a rapid test. However, he later received a PCR test–which the Mayo Clinic considers more accurate–and that showed a negative test result. Daniels wore a mask from his home during the interview for The Insiders, which took place before he received the negative test result. He said that he was trying not to expose his wife or children to the virus if he had been infected.)

Insiders Quick 6: House District 29 special election

Dave Price looks at the significance of the House District 29 special election, which saw Republican Jon Dunwell defeat Democrat Steve Mullan.

Watch previous episodes of The Insiders here.

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