‘Credible Fear’ Asylum Claims from Migrants Apprehended by Border Patrol Up 43% in 2018

Nearly 150 Central American migrants seeking political asylum in the United States are detained by the Border Patrol, after entering the US through the Rio Grande, along the border with Ciudad Juarez, Chihuahua state, Mexico, on December 3, 2018. - Thousands of Central American migrants, mostly Hondurans, have trekked for …
File Photo: HERIKA MARTINEZ/AFP/Getty Images

A new report released by federal officials reveals that claims of “credible fear” by migrants apprehended between ports of entry jumped 43 percent in Fiscal Year 2018 over the prior year.

During Fiscal Year 2018, Border Patrol agents apprehended nearly 400,000 who illegally crossed the border between ports of entry. Of those, 54,690 made claims for asylum based on credible fear. This is an increase of 43 percent from the previous fiscal year when 38,300 did the same, according to a report published by U.S. Customs and Border Protection this week.

“All claims of credible fear are referred to Asylum Officers of the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS),” CBP officials stated in the report. Officials said the asylum officer takes a sworn statement from the migrant that includes four questions regarding “any fear the alien may have of returning to his or her home country.”

Those questions are:

  1. Why did you leave your home or country of last residence?
  2. Do you have any fear or concern about being returned to your home country or being removed from the United States?
  3. Would you be harmed if you are returned to your home country or country of last residence?
  4. Do you have any questions or is there anything else you would like to add?

Officials said Border Patrol agents have no discretion in regards to referring the migrant to a USCIS asylum officer nor do they make any determination of credibility before processing the migrant to USCIS.

Agents in the Rio Grande Valley Sector reported the highest numbers of credible fear claims for asylum — 32,521. This represents nearly 60 percent of all claims made during FY2018. That number jumped by 29 percent from FY2017’s 25,156 credible fear claims.

Every sector but one reported at least double-digit increases in credible fear claims during FY2018. The El Paso Sector reported a 226 percent increase while the Yuma Sector reported a 139 percent rise. Only the Big Bend Sector reported a decrease.

The San Diego Sector, which faced numerous surges of caravan migrants, reported 5,307 credible fear apprehensions in FY2018 — an increase of 78 percent over the prior year. These numbers do not include the most recent caravan migrant arrivals in October, November, and December.

The report indicates that Border Patrol agents apprehended 16,421 more migrants making claims of credible fear after entering the U.S. between ports of entry (54,690) than those who make the claims to CBP officers at legal ports of entry (38,269).

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior political news contributor for Breitbart Border/Cartel Chronicles. He is a founding member of the Breitbart Texas team. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.


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