The Quote Below – More Misinformation from the Media
“The Trump administration’s announcement on Thursday that it will make some asylum seekers wait in Mexico while their court cases are resolved in the United States [is] very [disturbing]. . . .
“Those fleeing Central America often face a level of violence akin to what we think of as occurring in war zones. I have talked to refugees who have been shot, raped, extorted, kidnapped and had their houses burned down by gangs allied with corrupt police officers. The latest move could potentially cause hundreds of thousands of them to pile up along the Mexican side of the border. With thousands of asylum applications being made every month, and with a huge backlog in United States immigration courts, migrants’ cases could take years to resolve. . . .
“Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen claims the move will prevent people from using asylum applications to get into the United States and slip into the shadows. ‘Aliens trying to game the system to get into our country illegally will no longer be able to disappear into the United States, where many skip their court dates,’ she said on Thursday. Studies show, however, that the vast majority of asylum seekers show up for their hearings.” – The Mexican Border as Refugee Camp, The New York Times, Ioan Grillo, 12/21/18 [Link]
Fact Check of Quote: The crime some people face in Central America is unfortunate, but it is not grounds to permit them to come to United States. Specifically, it is not a basis for claiming asylum. That requires “a well-founded fear of persecution” based on a person’s characteristics such as ethnicity, religion, and political views. In point of fact, studies show that fear of crime is not the leading reason that prompts Central Americans to migrate. Far and away the leading motive is to find better economic opportunities. That too provides no legal ground for people to migrate to the United States. As a practical matter, our country is simply unable to absorb any significant percentage or the world’s poor.
DHS Secretary Nielson is absolutely correct to point out that bogus asylum claims are simply a tactic that many migrants are using to get into the United States—and then disappear. The claim that “the vast majority of asylum seekers” show up for their hearings, rather than abscond, is misleading. It apparently refers to the 89 percent of applicants who show up for asylum hearings. But to go those hearings, an asylum seeker must first go through an initial screening to determine if he has what may be a credible claim of persecution. Fifty-five percent of people who pass this screening never show up for the amnesty hearing—they abscond.
Commenting on this situation, former Attorney General Jeff Sessions observed, “The system is being gamed. The credible fear process was intended to be a lifeline for persons facing serious persecution. But it has become an easy ticket to illegal entry into the United States.” No truer words were ever spoken.