Opinion

Is it Time To End the Asylum Program?

As you have probably already learned from TV or print media, there is a host of migrants at the border demanding asylum in the United States—you know, the infamous “Caravan. “These “migrants” (read: refugee) banded together in late March 2018 to travel together so as to seek asylum in the United States. They left their violent, corrupt, and impoverished countries behind to seek the economic and social prosperity found in the United States.

Of course the liberal media is having a field day with this event. I would argue it is a staged event. Case in point: The BBC posted a news video on April 7th painting an overwhelmingly sympathetic picture of these poor unfortunate souls. The BBC filmed on location at Puebla City, Peubla, Mexico. The BBC narrative? “They are fleeing their country because of all the violence, because a brother has been killed, they were assaulted or received death threats.”

The problem? Not much of it is verifiable. In fact, in a recent interview the outgoing director of Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE), Director Tom Homan, stated emphatically: many of the migrants have a credible case that they are seeking asylum to escape fear and prosecution, but many of them do not. In other words, it’s just another loophole these migrants are exploiting. “Many are taking advantage of a system with loopholes in it,” Homan said.

Asylum seekers mock San Diego border security. (Credit: Facebook/Richie Bulot)

In short, it works like this. The “migrants” claim asylum, are granted entry and given a hearing date, and then they disappear and never show up. The numbers prove it. According to documents released by the Department of Homeland Security, over 84% of alien’s don’t make their court hearings.

Without trying to beat a dead horse, the fact is that Mexico is just one of those countries with a very, very low standard of living and horrible living conditions for many of its population. It is also well known that they are by and large the biggest demographic of illegals trying to enter this country. However, Mexico is only one of many.

There are literally hundreds of countries in the world that cannot or will not provide it’s populace with a decent standard of living or opportunity. That is why people from all over the world are trying to get into the United States… by the hundreds of thousands.

But there is a problem…and it is the elephant in the room not many are talking about.

You see, a country is like a box. Any box has a limit on how much it can contain. And the U.S. is at its breaking point. The cost on our infrastructure, education services, health services and more is astronomical and bankrupting this country. The fact is that no sovereign nation can afford a policy of unlimited immigration. It’s simple math. You simply cannot support an infinite amount of immigration with a finite supply of resources.

This is the reason why the number of people entering a country for future citizenship must be regulated. Because the number of new people entering a country for future citizenship must be limited (regulated), national and international law recognizes the right of asylum. In the US, “a specified number of legally defined refugees who either apply for asylum from inside the U.S. or apply for refugee status from outside the U.S., are admitted annually.” The exact number of people who will be granted asylum is termed the “refugee ceiling” and is currently set at 45,000 for 2018, as set by the Trump administration, reported the New York Times.

To further compound the issue, Homan also stated that people trying to enter the U.S. with fraudulent asylum claims clog up the system, which delays the process for others who are truly trying to escape fear and prosecution. In other words, there are those who truly need our help and are following the legal process to do so. Then there are those who are being coached on how to lie and commit fraud and do things illegally to enter this country.

But of course, for the liberal left, it’s not about common sense, managing resources, or protecting U.S. natural-born citizens, it’s about increasing their voter base. Period.

There is no question at all that U.S. asylum applications are on the rise. This from Trading Economics: “Asylum applications in the United States increased to 12,145 persons in January from 10,167 persons in December of 2017. Asylum applications in the United States averaged 4305.86 persons from 2,000 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 16,331 persons in March of 2017 and a record low of 522 persons in August of 2000.”

But what exactly must one prove in order to be granted asylum? According to the U.S. State Department: “Asylum has three basic requirements. First, an asylum applicant must establish that he or she fears persecution in their home country. Second, the applicant must prove that he or she would be persecuted on account of one of five protected grounds: race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or social group. Third, an applicant must establish that the government is either involved in the persecution, or unable to control the conduct of private actors.”

The problem is that economics, quality of life, and poverty do not, I repeat, do not meet the requirements of asylum. Neither does general violence or high crime rates. But that does not stop migrants from coming and claiming asylum. Therein lies the problem and the argument for ending—or at the very least reforming—asylum laws.

Unfortunately, the liberal left has created an atmosphere, dare I say, a culture of entitlement. People all over the world fundamentally believe they are entitled to come here and ignore/violate our laws.

So one can only imagine their disappointment when, on April 3, 2018, Mexican officials screened and vetted hundreds of Central Americans heading north. The refugees were forced to wait in Matias Romero, Oaxaca, “awaiting clarification of their legal status after officials began registering them.” That’s because many migrants fail to realize many countries have laws very different than ours, and are not so nice in enforcing them.

Therefore, it comes as no surprise that reports from KTLA5 News in Los Angeles, California, describe desperately impatient people, frustrated by the wait, crossing the U.S. border illegally. This situation, and the “entitlement” attitude, is further highlighted in a report by Reuters: “‘What was the point of all this then if they don’t let us stay?’ Elizabeth Avalos, 23, a migrant from El Salvador who was traveling with two children, said angrily. ‘There’s no food, my children haven’t eaten since yesterday.’ We see that the immigrant here is not hopeful or humble – she is demanding and angry.”

“About 175 people in a caravan of Central American asylum-seekers rested near the Mexico – US border Thursday before they seek asylum in the United States.” (Credit: Facebook/News 4 Tucson – KVOA)

So because we have regulations and procedures for the proper documentation and vetting of asylum seekers, it only makes sense that it takes time to process these migrants. But they don’t want to wait. They don’t want to follow or respect our laws. So they jump the fence and try to enter illegally.

The situation is so tenuous that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen said anyone who attempts to enter the U.S. before legal processing and who “makes false claims to immigration authorities will be subject to criminal prosecution.” Likewise, anyone who assists or coaches immigrants “to make false claims in bids to enter the US” could also face prosecution.

Again, this highlights my point. We now have liberal lawyers marching to the border in order to “assist” these migrants. How so? By coaching them on how to circumvent immigration agents and on how to “beat the system.”

ABC 7 News reports that Laner Romero is a San Francisco attorney, one of dozens nationwide who went to Tijuana this weekend to advise the migrants of their rights as they attempt to go through the established legal protocol. Laner Romero says denying entry “is a terrible position for the United States to take. It contravenes International law. We are a beacon of hope.” The attorneys held legal workshops and individual consultations.

I, for one, would love to know what the particulars of those workshops and what exactly was said in those “individual consultations.”

Romero calls the “caravan” a humanitarian crisis, but Howard Epstein, the Vice-Chair of the San Francisco Republican Party believes the caravan is an attempt to undermine the law. Epstein says, “I don’t think we owe it to them to process them. If they want to come here, they should abide by our rules and regulations and come as we allow them.”

Seeking asylum is a rigorous and lengthy process. Crossing the border would be just the beginning for the migrants. Out of the 200 asylum cases from last year’s caravan, only 4 were granted asylum or relief. This just proves my point. In most cases, asylum seekers are just trying to simply beat the system. Most simply do not qualify for asylum.

The situation is so bad we now have groups within the U.S. actually planning and organizing these “caravans.” As reported by the Daily Caller: Pueblos Sin Fronteras, the group behind the 1500-strong illegal migrant army marching through Mexico to the United States with the blessing of the Mexican government is feeling the heat from pro-border Americans and President Donald Trump.

But the march is more than a symbolic call to action. As mentioned earlier, among the marchers are immigration lawyers who will advise the migrants on the best way to submit asylum applications to U.S. immigration authorities, according to Clergy and Laity United for Economic Justice (CLUE), one of the participating groups.

So here is the million-dollar question. Can we, as a country, continue to accept all of the world’s huddled masses? The answer is a resounding No. We have limited resources and we are already seeing the strain on our budget and infrastructure. Back in 2016 I wrote an article on the insanity and cost of illegal immigration. Since then, things have only gotten worse.

For the sake of this discussion and my position on the matter, you should know that I am a first-generation American-born citizen from a Cuban father who had to flee Cuba with his father on the threat of death. You see, my grandfather was the Captain of the Palace Guards during the reign of Fulgencio Batista. He literally got on the last plane out of Havana as Fidel was riding into Havana. That is what the asylum program was designed for and for whom it was devised to help.

It was not to be used as a legal loophole to gain entry into the country, get a hearing date, and then never show up for that hearing while staying in the country illegally.

So what do we do? Do we change asylum laws or do away with asylum altogether?

The opinions expressed here by contributors are their own and are not the view of OpsLens which seeks to provide a platform for experience-driven commentary on today's trending headlines in the U.S. and around the world. Have a different opinion or something more to add on this topic? Contact us for guidelines on submitting your own experience-driven commentary.
Rene Sotolongo

Rene is an OpsLens contributor and retired Navy Information Systems Technician Chief Petty Officer.

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