Nations are sovereign: they have exclusive authority over a territory and its borders. A sovereign entity controls entry and stays within its borders. The 1951 United Nations Convention Relating to the Status of refugees, commonly known as the Refugee Convention undermines sovereignty by creating the legal right of persons to claim asylum in countries other than their own. Such a claim is subjected to 2-3 stages of the process during which the claim is examined by the selected country. During this period persons claiming asylum are entitled to the following rights:
- The right not to be punished for illegal entry
- The right to be issued identity and travel
- The right to freedom of movement in that country
- The right to access the courts
- The right to work
- The right to housing
- The right to education
- The right to public assistance.
In the US the children born to asylum claimants become citizens under the 14th Amendment. Such children are not deportable if the parents & claim for asylum is denied. Separating a child from his father or mother is not a humane or realistic option.
Apart from these considerations of principle, there is a looming reality. The end of the second world war was the period that colonialism in sub-Sahara Africa came to an end. The United Nations introduced several programs aimed at improving health and economic self-sufficiency. It proved successful in the first aim but failed in the second.
The improved health led to a sharp drop in child mortality producing explosive population growth. Food production did not keep up. As a result, migrating to more developed counties appears as the best option. Some states in sub-Saharan Africa are not democratic, and their population is deprived of human rights. Thus, they satisfy the UN criteria of persons entitled to asylum.
It is projected that by the end of the current century the population of sub-Saharan Africa will grow by some three billion persons. Many of them, if not most of them, would migrate to more developed countries.
This human flood could make citizens in developed counties into minorities. This extreme development is as grave as climate change. As climate change, it is a manifestation of human un-wisdom.