Federal immigration officials have granted asylum immediately upon request to 65 percent of the unaccompanied children who have arrived at the border in fiscal year 2014, according to House Judiciary chairman Bob Goodlatte (R., Va.,) who wants any border crisis legislation that passes to contain measures cracking down on asylum fraud.
U.S. Customs and Immigration Services provided Goodlatte with the asylum data. “President Obama’s refusal to crack down on rampant asylum fraud is one of the many reasons we are witnessing a surge of Central Americans seeking to enter the U.S. illegally at the border,” the congressman said.
“New data showing that the vast majority of Central Americans’ asylum claims are immediately approved will only worsen the situation along our southern border by encouraging more to come and take advantage of the situation,” he added. ”Our asylum laws are in place to help individuals who are facing truly serious persecution in their countries.”
Goodlatte’s office noted that “an internal Department of Homeland Security report shows that at least 70 percent of asylum cases contain proven or possible fraud,” even as a majority of cases are approved immediately.
The data’s release comes one day after Goodlatte and Representative Jason Chaffetz (R., Utah) released the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act.
“[T]his bill makes long needed changes to the asylum process,” Chaffetz said when the bill was released. ”Too many are finding ways to game the system. By strengthening standards for those who claim ‘credible fear’ we can expedite the removal process. We must deal with this crisis in both a humane and realistic manner. This legislation does both.”