Newly Released Data Shows the Majority of Central Americans’ Asylum Claims Are Approved Immediately and Approval Rates Have Dramatically Increased Under Obama

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On Friday, the House Judiciary Committee released data it obtained from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that shows that of the children who are coming across the southern border, nearly two-thirds who requested asylum this year have had their initial applications approved.

This means that the U.S. government thinks that the children are fleeing from danger in their home countries and that they cannot return, which will make it tougher to deport most of them in the future.

According to the data, 65 percent of applications for asylum from unaccompanied children are approved. And, even if the application is not approved, an appeal can be requested, which means the total number who end up staying will be higher. These numbers do not account for those that never ask for asylum and just disappear into the U.S., or for those who spend years here waiting for their court dates.

Asylum approval rates have increased dramatically in recent years from 28% in 2007 to 46% in 2013, and approval rates by immigration judges in affirmative cases have increased from 51% in 2007 to 74% in 2013. This means the vast majority of illegal aliens who claim asylum are successful in their claims.

And, this information comes at the same time an internal Homeland Security report shows that at least 70% of asylum cases contain possible or proven fraud.

Human smugglers, whose business is booming right now, have told Central Americans that if they can get to the U.S. border, they will be processed and released into the U.S., where they can disappear.

Republicans and Democrats remain at odds over the issue. Republicans say if the U.S. shows potential border crossers that they will be turned back at the border, or quickly deported, less people will try to make the journey.

But, the Democrats and the Obama administration continue to say that these children and families are surging our borders right now to flee violence and poverty in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.

House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) released the statement below along with the report:

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. 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. Our asylum laws are in place to help individuals who are facing truly serious persecution in their countries. However, while I was in the Rio Grande Valley earlier this month, law enforcement officials on the ground said that the vast majority of Central Americans arriving at our border come to meet up with another family member who is already in the United States illegally.

President Obama has many tools at his disposal to stop this border crisis, including cracking down on fraudulent asylum claims and implementing tougher standards for preliminary asylum screenings. Unfortunately, he refuses to use these tools and instead makes the situation worse by refusing to enforce our immigration laws.


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