Border-crossers entering the United States illegally have an 88 percent chance of evading immediate deportation by claiming “credible fear” in their native country, the Department of Justice (DOJ) analysis reveals.
The issue of the country’s loose asylum laws — where foreign nationals can claim that they are fearing for their lives in their native country and be released into the U.S. until their day in court — has sparked debate, as a caravan of 1,500 Central American asylum-seekers are headed for the southern border.
In 88 percent of cases, foreign nationals seeking asylum in the U.S. evade immediate deportation after claiming credible fear, according to DOJ. Only half of the foreign nationals who evade immediate deportation by claiming credible fear, however, end up filing for asylum status after they are released into the U.S.
As Attorney General Jeff Sessions has noted, the fact that only half of the asylum-seekers end up seeking asylum once they are in the U.S. “suggests” that their claims of credible fear are not valid and that they were using the country’s loose asylum laws to enter the U.S.
After former President Obama’s administration acted as a rubber stamp for asylum-seekers looking to permanently stay in the U.S., the number of credible fear cases increased from 5,000 in 2009 to 94,000 in 2016.
At the border alone, between 2009 and 2016 credible fear claims by border-crossers increased from 3,000 cases to nearly 70,000 cases. Now, the immigration courts have been hampered by a backlog of more than 600,000 immigration cases pending.
For the caravan of Central Americans looking to make it to the southern border through Mexico, current U.S. immigration law allows them to not have to stop in Mexico and claim asylum there, as pointed out by the Center for Immigration Studies’ Andrew Arthur.
Currently, the U.S. does not mandate that an asylum-seeker passing through Mexico stop in Mexico to claim asylum. Nor does the law allow the U.S. to turn asylum-seekers back to Mexico if they have passed through the country to make it to the U.S.
On the other hand, if an asylum-seeker passes through Canada to claim asylum in the U.S., the U.S. can turn the asylum-seeker back to Canada, mandating that they claim asylum in the first country they enter where they are not being persecuted.
The overwhelming asylum numbers for border-crossers come as President Trump is set to deploy the military to the southern border to shore up Border Patrol agents so that they can more effectively arrest and detain illegal aliens.