12. Political Asylum & Enclave Creation for Persecuted Minorities

Political asylum

Political asylum, using a relatively slightly more narrow qualifying criteria (i.e., if a person’s life or physical safety is severely threatened due to circumstances completely beyond that individual’s control), is a human right.

However, the primary method of dealing with situations that produce significant numbers of political asylum seekers should be for the appropriate international authority to intervene within the asylum seekers’ country to rectify the situation, as discussed further below.

For asylees seeking entry into the US, but also more generally for asylees seeking entry into any other country, the following rules should apply. Political asylum, when granted, should always be granted for a temporary stay. Granting asylum claimants ‘green cards’ or other permanent documents should be prohibited. Political asylees should be granted protection for as long as necessary but ending when the offending condition(s) that lead to their seeking asylum have been corrected. The case of each asylee should be reviewed every one or two years, or at any time in between, if needed, or as conditions warrant. Asylees would have up to 12 months to return to their original country once conditions have been deemed acceptable.

In order for the controlling international authority to authorize/mandate the transfer of the asylees back to their country of origin, the offending country must formally accept the return of the refuges, and promise to abstain from persecution which caused them to seek asylum.

The qualifications for granting asylum to individuals who may be related to a person who has already been granted asylum should not be changed or reduced. Each person must be granted asylum based on his/her own merit.

A fee of perhaps $100 should be charged with each application submitted. Upon approval of the application, the asylee should be charged a few hundred dollars more to cover (or help cover) the cost of processing his/her claim. Payment would not be due until the claim has been processed, at which point interest would begin to be charged. The opportunity to work must be provided to each asylum seeker who has been relocated to another country and who cannot otherwise find employment.

Enclave Creation for Persecuted Minorities

An international political organization with binding authority should have the right to create small enclaves within the territory of a member state (preferably along its periphery) if a significant number of individuals who emigrate from that state claim political asylum and are found to need protection for life and/or property due to violations of fundamental human rights by the government or any other entity within the offending country.

However, necessary co-requisites to the creation of enclaves by an international organization would be the following. Upon recognition that a significant exodus from a country is taking place due to some unreasonable persecution that the government of that country either performs or does not adequately prevent, the international organization should take it upon itself to investigate and assess the situation. If the members of this organization find (through a vote of all member states or by the conclusion reached by a special task group that has been elected by the members and charged with investigating the matter) that, indeed, people are leaving that country due to some form of persecution or harassment by either the government and/or other groups, then the international political organization should have the obligation to require the offending country to correct its behavior. If such appeals fail to bring about the required changes, this international body should authorize the use of any means necessary to bring about the required changes, including sanctions followed quickly by the use of military force and invasion, if necessary.

The preceding steps should be the first course of action. However, if for some reason these measures fail or are not utilized, but more likely, until these measures work and bring about the required change, land, ideally within the boundaries of the offending states or perhaps land within member states who are nearest to the source of asylum seekers, should be temporarily set aside and its borders should be treated as new, temporary international borders. These enclaves would serve as the places of refuge for the emigrants. In essence, the offending country would have lost its entitlement to control these enclaves created by this international organization and set aside for protecting these refugees.

The international political organization would bear the ultimate responsibility for governance including organizing for the provision of work, food, and other necessary goods and services for these people. These people would be required to build their own shelters, or at least pay for their building. The ultimate responsibility for governance of these enclaves belong to the international political organization, but much political authority should be given to the asylees. They should hold their own elections and decide their own rules, as long as those rules lie within the general framework of respect for human rights, the environment, and general fairness and justice. The surface area of these temporary enclaves should be sufficient to allow a fairly comfortable living space for the asylees. It should at least be equivalent to half the per capita area available in the asylees’ region of origin. If possible, land suitable for farming could be supplied if farmers are a significant percentage of the asylee inhabitants, but it should not be mandated.

When the offending country corrects its behavior, these people would be required to go back to their places of origin, being allowed, of course, to take all their belongings, including their houses if they so desire. Or they can leave their houses there and the international political organization would compensate the owners, at market prices, for their houses (i.e., improvements on the land), but not the land.

These enclaves should last only anywhere from a few months to a few years. Any length of time longer than 5 years means that not enough is being done to rectify the original situation. After their use as enclaves for this purpose is finished, the international political organization would be required to clean up the land according to the standards set forth by the country that is the original owner of the land, usually the formerly offending country. Then full control of the land would be returned to its original owner and the original international borders would be recognized again.

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