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Migrants Walk into U.S. Beside Donald Trump’s Border Wall

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A foreign family with two kids hopped over the existing border wall beside President Donald Trump’s new prototype walls, spotlighting the legal loopholes which allow migrants with children to overwhelm border defenses.

At least 400,000 migrants walked through legal loopholes in the border walls during the last decade. Most are still quietly living in the United States while backlogged courts struggle to process their legal claims for asylum, amid bipartisan political demands for more imported workers to keep Americans’ wages low.

The March 14 video was posted by Mexico’s major establishment media site, El Universal. The video shows the semi-trailers which were positioned to hide President Donald Trump from possible attackers on the Mexican side of the border as he visited the prototype walls on March 13.

The four migrants are met by a border officer, who directs them to a nearby office where they can ask to file a legal plea for asylum or residency. If they are not quickly sent home for being economic migrants, the four migrants will be allowed to live in the United States alongside roughly 12 million illegal immigrants, to get work permits and to send their children to Americans’ overcrowded public schools.

Two of the four migrants are children, so making them candidates for a future ‘dreamers’ amnesty, which activists hope to make permanent.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions has pushed several programs to reduce the backlog and the loopholes, chiefly by trying to end the practice of “catch and release,” whereby asylum-claiming migrants are released into the United States pending a court hearing several years in the future.

Sessions runs the immigration-court system, so he is pushing for fast-track court hearings, narrowing legal rules which aid migrants, deterring migration by keeping the migrants in detention pending their court dates, and by directing judges to prioritize hearings on the most recent migrants.

In an October speech, Sessions said:

A nation that cannot control its own borders is not a nation at all…

But in 2009, the previous Administration began to allow most aliens who passed an initial credible fear review to be released from custody into the United States pending a full hearing.  These changes—and case law that has expanded the concept of asylum well beyond Congressional intent—created even more incentives for illegal aliens to come here and claim a fear of return.

The consequences are just what you’d expect.  Claims of fear to return have skyrocketed, and the percentage of claims that are genuinely meritorious are down.

The system is being abused to the detriment of the rule of law, sound public policy, public safety, and of just claims.  This, of course, undermines the system and frustrates officers who work to make dangerous arrests in remote areas.  Saying a few simple words is now transforming a straightforward arrest and immediate return into a probable release and a hearing—if the alien shows for the hearing.

Here are the shocking statistics: in 2009, DHS conducted more than 5,000 credible fear reviews.  By 2016, that number had increased to 94,000.  The number of these aliens placed in removal proceedings went from fewer than 4,000 in 2009 to more than 73,000 by 2016—nearly a 19-fold increase—overwhelming the system and leaving those with just claims buried.

The increase has been especially pronounced and abused at the border.  From 2009 to 2016, the credible fear claims at the border went from approximately 3,000 cases to more than 69,000 …

But even more telling, half of those that pass that screening—the very people who say they came here seeking asylum—never even file an asylum application once they are in the United States.  This suggests they knew their asylum claims lacked merit and that their claim of fear was simply a ruse to enter the country illegally.

Not surprisingly, many of those who are released into the United States after their credible fear determination from DHS simply disappear and never show up at their immigration hearings.  Last year, there were 700 percent more removal orders issued in absentia for cases that began with a credible fear claim than in 2009.  In fact, removal orders issued in absentia in all immigration cases have doubled since 2012—with nearly 40,000 in the 2017 fiscal year.

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.

We also have dirty immigration lawyers who are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process.

Under Sessions, the immigration courts are also rejecting more claims for asylum. According to Syracuse University’s Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse:

… asylum decisions were up sharply during FY 2017. A total of 30,179 cases were decided by judges last year, a marked increase from 22,312 cases in FY 2016. This is the largest number of asylum cases decided in any one year since FY 2005. While asylum grants increased, denials grew even faster. This pushed the percent who were denied asylum to 61.8 percent. This is the fifth year in a row that denial rates have risen. Five years ago the denial rate was just 44.5 percent.

Without representation, the deck is stacked against an asylum seeker. Statistically, only one out of every ten win their case. With representation, nearly half are successful.

During FY 2012 – FY 2017, Jamaica had the highest denial rate (91.4%), followed closely by Laos (89.9%), the Philippines, (89.7%) and Mexico (88.0%). At the other extreme, the Soviet Union had the lowest denial rate (9.5%), with Byelorussia and Egypt with almost as low denial rates at 11.1 percent each.

President Donald Trump is also pushing for broader legal reforms. A loose coalition of business-first Republicans and the pro-migration Democratic caucus blocked his plans in a February 15 vote in the Senate, setting up a November showdown over Trump’s pro-American, low-immigration/high-wage policies.

However, Democrats have fought hard against any reform of the loopholes, and argue that Americans should be forced to welcome millions of migrants who claim they are facing discrimination in South America, Africa, and Asia, as they seek jobs and residency in the United States.

For example, the ACLU is suing the federal government to force the release of economic migrants into the economy,  while advocacy groups press Democrats to cut funding for immigration enforcement by the Department of Homeland Security.

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