The New Asylum Mess

Immigration ReformIt seems that former National Security Agency contractor, Edward Snowden, is not the only one seeking asylum.  This week we have learned that hundreds of Mexican immigrants are coming to America seeking asylum by using code words, such as “credible fear” of drug cartels.  The claim of “credible fear” triggers the initial step in the asylum process.  The cases must be heard and evaluated by federal judges in the Immigration Court system to determine the veracity of the claims.


A Mess at the Border

The recent flood of immigrants seeking asylum has created a problem for border patrol officials.  Many agents have been asked to work overtime as the government scrambles to deal with the situation.  To make matters worse, the government is paying to rent hotel rooms to house dozens of Mexican families due to overcrowding at the processing centers.

There is welfare fraud, tax fraud, insurance fraud, and this is almost certainly a fraud of the asylum process.   To think that all of a sudden hundreds of Mexican immigrants would come to America seeking asylum based on the fear of drug cartels stretches the limits of reasonableness.  Senator Jeff Sessions, Republican – Alabama, has referred to the asylum requests as “abuses”.  Peter Nunez (former US Attorney for Southern California) stated, “This clearly has to have been orchestrated by somebody.”  This is a major problem for the government and one that may get costly.

Quick Response from the Government is Needed

Already some Republicans are calling to stop any progress on Immigration Reform as a result of the recent events.  This is a wise move but it is only one step in the process.  The American response to this problem should be rapid because the problem is not going away soon unless it is met by action.

As more people learn of loopholes by which the system can be circumvented, asylum requests are only going to increase.  Unless the government deals with this matter swiftly and directly it will be like dying by a thousand cuts.  The United States government needs to rapidly and temporarily ramp-up the Immigration Court system so that these cases may be heard and denied.  The swift dismissal of asylum requests would serve as a great deterrent.  There is an additional concern.  When those seeking asylum are released pending a court review, there is no guarantee they will ever appear for scheduled court proceedings.  Ultimately, it adds to the burden of the already millions of illegal immigrants who are undocumented and roaming around the country.

The problem is that historically the Obama administration has been very lethargic when it comes to responding to important matters.  There are a whole host of examples in which Obama’s response time is rather questionable.  In this instance, I am unconvinced that Obama and Holder have the desire or will to resolve this problem quickly.

A final thought – Do not get me wrong. I firmly believe that an overwhelming majority of these requests are from immigrants seeking to exploit a loophole.  Yet, there is something that strikes me as utterly ironic about hundreds of Mexicans coming to America claiming to have a credible fear of drug cartels given what we know about Fast and Furious.  We know that the government sanctioned a program that allowed hundreds of firearms to cross into Mexico.  These weapons were virtually untraced and ultimately wound up in the hands of drug lords.  This leaves the government in the unenviable position of denying asylum requests, while at the same time knowing its polices may have contributed to the growing violence by Mexican drug lords.  It is like giving a bully a stick and then telling the other kids there is nothing to fear.

If our government’s response is anything like it has been for the past five years, I would anticipate asylum requests to increase and the tax payers to absorb millions of dollars in associated costs.

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