FIXING OUR BROKEN IMMIGRATION SYSTEM: Congress needs to close the loopholes that are preventing common sense immigration enforcement.
- Due to legal loopholes, many aliens who reach our borders are released into our country after being apprehended, encouraging more illegal immigration.
- Smugglers and human traffickers understand and have exploited these loopholes.
- The Flores Settlement Agreement and court decisions interpreting it have hampered the Government’s ability to detain and promptly remove many Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) and family units.
- The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 limits the Government’s ability to promptly return many UACs who have been apprehended at the border.
UAC LOOPHOLES BY THE NUMBERS: Legal loopholes have hamstrung immigration enforcement and contributed to the crisis at our border as UAC arrivals have surged.
- More than 110,000 UACs have been released into the interior of the United States since the beginning of FY 2016, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
- The number of UACs at ports of entry increased by 636 percent from April 2017 to April 2018.
- Border Patrol apprehensions of UACs were 331 percent higher for April 2018 than April 2017.
- Only 3.4 percent of UACs encountered at the border in FY 2014 from countries other than Mexico had been removed or returned as of FY 2017.
- UAC cases pending in immigration courts now total 78,000, up from less than 3,500 in FY 2009.
- Approximately 90 percent of removal orders obtained against UACs each year result from one’s failure to appear at a hearing.
- Removal orders issued against UACs based on a failure to appear at an immigration hearing have risen over 1000 percent since FY 2009.
- Gangs, such as MS-13, have used the influx of UACs for recruiting opportunities.
- More than one-third of the 274 MS-13 members and affiliates arrested in the Federal, State, and local led “Operation Matador” entered the country as UACs.
ASYLUM LOOPHOLES BY THE NUMBERS: Loopholes in our asylum laws are subject to exploitation, contributing to significant spikes in asylum claims in recent years.
- Current law sets an easily-met credible fear standard, which allows aliens who make meritless asylum claims to remain in the United States for years while they litigate their cases.
- The number of arriving aliens claiming credible fear has jumped to one out of every 10, up from one out of every 100 before 2011.
- Since FY 2009, the amount of immigration cases originating from a credible fear finding has dramatically increased, while the percentage of cases ultimately granted asylum has dropped significantly.
- The Executive Office for Immigration Review has over 312,000 cases with pending asylum applications.
- Backlog in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services affirmative asylum process has swelled by over 1900 percent since the end of FY 2012.
- The number of asylum claims received in FY 2017 was the highest annual number of claims in over 20 years.