Refugee status could be granted to Hondurans from within their own country under a new proposal drafted by the Obama administration.
With the steady stream of Central Americans traveling from their home countries through Mexico and crossing into the U.S. illegally, this new proposal reportedly would screen thousands of minors for refugee status from within Honduras. For those determined not eligible for refugee status, a second option is being considered known as “humanitarian parole.” This status could be extended to those up to 21-years-old on the basis of emergency humanitarian grounds, according to a New York Times report.
According to the report, “Administration officials said they believed the plan could be enacted through executive action, without congressional approval, as long as it did not increase the total number of refugees coming into the country.”
U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Citizenship and Immigration Services officer training materials state, “In order to be granted either asylum or refugee status, U.S. law requires that an applicant satisfy the definition of refugee under the Immigration and Nationality Act.”
According to the INA-based government training documents, “an applicant may be granted asylum or refugee status, in the exercise of discretion, if the applicant is a refugee within the meaning of section 101(a)(42) of the INA.2. Therefore, a firm understanding of the definition of refugee is critical to determine whether an alien is eligible for asylum or refugee status.”
INA section 101(a)(42)(B) “provides for in-country processing” of refugees “under special circumstances as specified by the President for: any person who is within the country of such person’s nationality or, in the case of a person having no nationality, within the country in which such person is habitually residing, and who is persecuted or who has a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion” according to the same training documents.
“Still, the draft of the plan noted that 64.7 percent of the unaccompanied minors who applied for asylum this year got it,” reported the New York Times, which went on to state, “How many people are accepted is critical, because refugees qualify for public assistance upon arrival in the United States.”
Breitbart Texas’s Border Expert Sylvia Longmire responded to the potential of granting refugee status to Hondurans from within their own country, saying, “This is an interesting tack for the White House to take, considering the potential impact this could have on diplomatic relations with Honduras. On one hand, the Honduran government has made clear it wants immigration reform to happen immediately, and the country has little financial motivation to stop the exodus because 10 percent of its GDP is derived from remittances.”
Longmire continued, “However, by starting the refugee designation process delineated in US legislation, the US government is essentially declaring that the Honduran government is in some way complicit in the oppression and persecution of its citizens. The process actually could help slow down the flow of illegal immigrants by separating economic migrants from those who really fear for their lives with legitimate reasons, but it’s likely the White House will face obstacles to this plan from both Republicans and the Honduran government.”