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MISUSED ASYLUM LAWS: Flaws in our asylum system allow illegal aliens with meritless claims to cross our borders and remain here for years.

  • Our Nation’s asylum laws have allowed illegal aliens with meritless claims to easily enter and stay in the United States while awaiting legal proceedings.
  • Asylum seekers at the border only have to meet the low bar for establishing a “credible fear” of returning under which they must show a “possibility” to qualify for asylum.
    • Aliens who claim a credible fear of returning do not have to provide any verification or corroboration of their claims in order to receive a positive determination and be released into the interior of the United States.
  • As a result, illegal aliens with meritless cases that are released from detention are able to remain in our communities for years, while their cases are litigated in immigration courts.

AN OVERWHELMING SURGE: Our country faces a growing and overwhelming surge of illegal aliens seeking to take advantage of our weak asylum laws.

  • Today, approximately one in 10 illegal aliens arriving at our southern border claims a credible fear of return, up from one out of every 100 prior to 2013.
    • Since 2010, these claims have spiked by 1,700 percent.
    • This staggering increase has contributed to a backlog of hundreds of thousands of cases in our immigration courts.
  • This surge is only growing, with reports showing that asylum requests at the southern border have recently increased from 1,500 per week to approximately 2,000 per week.
  • U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) processed approximately 100,000 credible fear claims this last fiscal year (FY), surpassing the 94,000 record set in FY 2016.
    • In FY 2018, USCIS received approximately 106,000 new asylum requests from those admitted legally, compared to only 25,500 in 2008.
    • Immigration courts received approximately 160,000 asylum requests in FY 2018, compared to only 42,000 in FY 2008.

A DRIVING FACTOR IN ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION: The standards that apply to the credible fear process is a major driver of our Nation’s immigration crisis.

  • While there has been an enormous spike in credible fear-initiated claims, relatively few asylum claims have ultimately been found to be meritorious.
  • Approximately 80 percent of aliens arriving from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador passed initial credible fear screenings, but only 15 percent of those were granted asylum.
  • There has been a major increase in the number of illegal alien family units arriving at our border and family units now make up a significant percentage of credible fear claims.
    • The number of family units apprehended by U.S. Customs and Border Protection has increased 620 percent during the past five years.
    • Family units make up about 40 percent of all credible fear-initiated asylum claims.
    • As a result of loopholes, nearly all asylum seekers in family units are permitted by the Department of Homeland Security to remain in the United States, pending their asylum hearing.