The End of Asylum

A Pillar of the Liberal Order Is Collapsing—but Does Anyone Care?

Alkis Konstantinidis / Reuters

A small tent city is taking shape in Tapachula, on the Mexican-Guatemalan border, and its inhabitants are living proof of the systematic erosion of one of the foundational principles of the post–World War II international order. The residents are primarily refugees and migrants from African countries who fled political persecution, social upheaval, and economic uncertainty, taking one of the longest and most perilous migration routes in the world in the hope of reaching the United States.  Until recently, most would have been granted a 21-day grace period to either normalize their residency status in Mexico or continue on to the …