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Press Release - Our Nation's Weak Asylum Laws are Encouraging an Overwhelming Increase In Illegal Immigration

November 01, 2018

We will not rest until our border is secure, our citizens are safe, and we finally end the immigration crisis once and for all.
President Donald J. Trump

MISUSED ASYLUM LAWS: Flaws in our asylum system allow illegal aliens with meritless claims to cross our borders and remain here for years.

  • Our Nation's asylum laws have allowed illegal aliens with meritless claims to easily enter and stay in the United States while awaiting legal proceedings.
  • Asylum seekers at the border only have to meet the low bar for establishing a "credible fear" of returning under which they must show a "possibility" to qualify for asylum.
    • Aliens who claim a credible fear of returning do not have to provide any verification or corroboration of their claims in order to receive a positive determination and be released into the interior of the United States.
  • As a result, illegal aliens with meritless cases that are released from detention are able to remain in our communities for years, while their cases are litigated in immigration courts.

AN OVERWHELMING SURGE: Our country faces a growing and overwhelming surge of illegal aliens seeking to take advantage of our weak asylum laws.

  • Today, approximately one in 10 illegal aliens arriving at our southern border claims a credible fear of return, up from one out of every 100 prior to 2013.
    • Since 2010, these claims have spiked by 1,700 percent.
    • This staggering increase has contributed to a backlog of hundreds of thousands of cases in our immigration courts.
  • This surge is only growing, with reports showing that asylum requests at the southern border have recently increased from 1,500 per week to approximately 2,000 per week.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processed approximately 100,000 credible fear claims this last fiscal year (FY), surpassing the 94,000 record set in FY 2016.
    • In FY 2018, USCIS received approximately 106,000 new asylum requests from those admitted legally, compared to only 25,500 in 2008.
    • Immigration courts received approximately 160,000 asylum requests in FY 2018, compared to only 42,000 in FY 2008.

A DRIVING FACTOR IN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: The standards that apply to the credible fear process is a major driver of our Nation's immigration crisis.

  • While there has been an enormous spike in credible fear-initiated claims, relatively few asylum claims have ultimately been found to be meritorious.
  • Approximately 80 percent of aliens arriving from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador passed initial credible fear screenings, but only 15 percent of those were granted asylum.
  • There has been a major increase in the number of illegal alien family units arriving at our border and family units now make up a significant percentage of credible fear claims.
    • The number of family units apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection has increased 620 percent during the past five years.
    • Family units make up about 40 percent of all credible fear-initiated asylum claims.
    • As a result of loopholes, nearly all asylum seekers in family units are permitted by the Department of Homeland Security to remain in the United States, pending their asylum hearing.

Donald J. Trump, Press Release - Our Nation's Weak Asylum Laws are Encouraging an Overwhelming Increase In Illegal Immigration Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/336399

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