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GOP Reps: Foreigners With Terror Ties Could Be Seeking To Take Advantage Of U.S. Asylum Process

Foreign nationals with terrorist ties could be trying to manipulate the U.S. asylum process, according to the heads of four House committees.

In a letter to Department of Homeland Security Sec. Jeh Johnson, House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), House Judiciary Immigration and Border Security Subcommittee Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), and Oversight National Security Subcommittee Chairman Ron DeSantis (R-FL) point to a recent disclosure from United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), revealing that those with terrorist connections may be manipulating the asylum process.

“According to documents and information that USCIS provided to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, the terrorism bar to asylum eligibility may be applicable to 299 aliens who were found to have a ‘credible fear’ of persecution in the first four months of Fiscal Year (FY) 2015, and to 339 aliens who were found to have a ‘credible fear’ in FY 2014,” the letter, dispatched Wednesday, reads.

According to the foursome, the disclosure is a cause for concern “that hundreds of known and suspected aliens with terrorist connections may be attempting to take advantage of our country’s asylum system.”

In their missive, Goodlatte, Chaffetz, Gowdy, and DeSantis request answers — by June 3 — to three specific questions dealing with the disclosure:

1.      A copy of the alien file (A-file) for each alien who was found to have a credible fear in FY 2014 and 2015 (through May 1, 2015) who USCIS also found the terrorism bar to asylum eligibility may apply.  

2.      For each individual covered by the above request, identify whether the alien has been released, and for each alien who has been released, whether the release decision was made by officers of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) or by an Immigration Judge (IJ) or the Board of Immigration Appeals.  For any alien who has been released by an order of an IJ, please state whether DHS filed a stay and/or an appeal of that decision. 

3.      The number of cases nationwide where the asylum officer found a potential INA 208(b)(2)(A)(v) bar to asylum eligibility in a reasonable fear case.  For each individual covered by this request, please provide a copy of the alien’s A-file.    

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