Several people have asked me about the statement made by Secretary of State Pompeo when he announced the Administration’s intentions of capping refugee admissions at 30,000.
According to the New York Times, Pompeo mentioned a backlog of 800,000 asylum cases piled up in immigration courts and the NYT is quick to point out that the number is too high.
It is ONLY 320,000!
(And, remember readers that those waiting for their asylum hearing are mostly free to roam the USA, relatively few are in detention!)
“This year’s refugee ceiling reflects the substantial increase in the number of individuals seeking asylum in our country, leading to a massive backlog of outstanding asylum cases and greater public expense,” he added.
Mr. Pompeo said refugees had to be weighed against a backlog of 800,000 asylum seekers who are awaiting a decision by immigration authorities about whether they qualify as in need of protection under United States law and will be granted status to remain.
But he vastly overstated the numbers, while making a linkage between two groups of immigrants that are not the same and are processed differently.
As of the end of June, the Department of Homeland Security reported just under 320,000 people who had claimed asylum — meaning they had passed an interview conducted to verify that they met the “credible fear” threshold to be considered — and were awaiting a decision from the department about whether they could stay.
About 730,000 additional immigrants were waiting for their cases to be resolved by immigration courts, according to the Justice Department…
In other words Pompeo is saying that the Trump Administration is going to focus first on a huge backlog of asylum claims.
So what is this asylum issue?
Perhaps we haven’t talked about it enough over the years, but asylum is the other side of a two-sided coin for ‘refugee’ admissions to the US.
The cap we are talking about refers to the refugees who are found abroad, are accepted for admission and are flown here at taxpayers’ expense and turned over to one of the nine refugee resettlement contractors for care.
Asylum seekers are people who got to the US on their own dime and upon entering the country across a border illegally (or sometimes with a legal visa) they request asylum claiming they would be persecuted if returned home. They then go through a legal process to determine if their claims are legitimate or not. (Another can of worms involves the question of how many of those whose claims of asylum were rejected actually leave the country!)
If granted asylum they are called Asylees and are eligible for all of the social service goodies we give to the refugees we fly in. Therefore, US taxpayers’ generosity is not only to the smaller number of refugees we flew in, but potentially to tens of thousands more each year!
The asylum system here and in Europe has been massively scammed where worldwide millions are claiming asylum when in fact most are economic migrants or just plain crooks.
There are so many that they are overwhelming our legal system and that is why Sec. of State Pompeo says we are prioritizing—getting those hundreds of thousands processed.
(See Jim Simpson’s chart in this post to see how many had successful asylum claims for each of the last 10+ years. Total is over 266,000 since 2008!)
Refugee Industry thrilled with Asylum avenue to America!
In 2010 I attended the 30th anniversary celebration for the Refugee Act of 1980 at Georgetown University in Washington, DC and was struck by the focus speakers were placing on the asylum process.
They were downright giddy that so many migrants were now showing up at our borders seeking asylum. In fact, they seemed to be conscious of the fact that there were limits to the numbers they could get in to the US in the normal refugee admissions process even before Trump ever appeared on their radar screens.
In 2011, after seeing more stories about asylum seekers arriving at our borders from far flung places like Somalia, I wrote this post:
Is there a conspiracy by NGO’s to bring asylum seekers to US borders?
I said this at the time about the Georgetown shindig after calling for a Congressional investigation.
I was also struck at the conference by how much emphasis the pro-refugee, pro-open borders activists and speakers were placing on our asylum program. They wanted to educate more asylum lawyers and hire more asylum judges (apparently the refugee program itself wasn’t bringing immigrants in fast enough!). One speaker even said that the original idea behind the program was to rescue the odd ballet dancer seeking asylum from some repressive regime, but had now expanded to thousands every year.
You can read the whole post here, but the gist of it was that I believe the international open borders Leftists are actively involved in pushing migrants to first world countries’ borders (maybe even paying their way!) where, having been previously coached, they know how to ask for asylum. Of course that is exactly what we are seeing now here and in Europe.
By the way, check out the whole NYT story. The reporter says that Secretary of State Pompeo wanted to keep the CAP where it was at 45,000, but Stephen Miller in the White House pushed for an even lower ceiling.
See my post yesterday where I say it should have been ZERO!