From data obtained by surveys conducted by various experts, the current border crisis is being driven by those tens of thousands of migrants from Central American countries exploiting loopholes current present in the immigration system. Namely that of making false asylum claims in order to gain entry into the United States.
With the current loopholes, an individual is able to use the claim of asylum to gain their entry into the country and then simply disappear from the immigration radar. The data collected also showed that an estimated half of those migrants from countries that use the claim of asylum for entry, actually go on to file an official application of residency to remain in the US.
Asylum is a legal method of entry but is reserved for those individuals who would face some form of persecution in their own country. The numbers actually show that less than 4% of the migrants that use the claim of asylum, from the countries of Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras, said they were, in fact, fleeing so sort of violence.
While as many as 72% stated their sole purpose of fleeing was because of their economic condition at the time. The data was obtained by a 2017 survey of deported individuals, done by the Migration in the Southern Border of Mexico (EMIF).
Finally, only 10% were reported as having cited both violence and economic conditions as the reasons for their Migration. Matt O'Brien, research director for the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), stated that: "The majority of current Central American asylum seekers—by their own admission—are economic migrants who do not qualify for asylum, because they are not subject to persecution on the basis of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership to a particular social group."
One method used to determine if an immigrant qualifies for entry is the “credible fear” test. This is used as a means of determining if a migrant will actually be able to prove, before an immigration court, that he or she actually is a victim of persecution. Albeit that the credible fear test is the first in many steps of the asylum process, it is worth noting that the asylum officers who oversee the test are much more lenient than those further down the line—such as the immigration judges.
According to the Executive Office For Immigration Review, as of May, only an average of 12 claims out of 100 credible fear claims actually receive a grant for asylum, by an asylum judge.
So, what’s the verdict—you decide.
Is the current method of determining entry based on asylum working? Could it require an overhaul?