It looks like the Trump administration is cracking down on an Obama-era racket that awarded droves of illegal immigrants who claimed to have a “credible fear” with asylum and the foreign nationals are firing back with a lawsuit. Credible fear asylum in the U.S. was so out of control during the Obama years that illegal aliens were spreading the word on Facebook and immigration authorities got bombarded with unprecedented amounts of applicants.
In hundreds of cases the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) knew in advance that an open borders group coached illegal immigrants to falsely claim they had a “credible fear” of returning to their country to get asylum, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the agency.
The operation was part of a scam conducted by an immigrant rights organization called the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NITA), which had coordinated demonstrations along the Southwest border in Texas and Arizona. In mid-2014 the group orchestrated a scheme to bring 250 illegal aliens into the U.S. through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California. To assure the migrants stayed in the U.S., the group had them falsely claim that they had a “credible fear” of returning to their native country. In the documents obtained by Judicial Watch through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) the DHS agency charged with guarding the border—Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—admits knowing about the ploy in advance. CBP allowed the illegal aliens to stay in the U.S. anyways, according to the records.
That’s how crazy the “credible fear” asylum program was under the Obama administration. During a five-year period, the number of “credible fear” asylum applications made at the southern border increased sevenfold, from less than 5,000 to more than 36,000, a federal immigration official told Congress during a 2015 hearing. Statistics from the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) USCIS showed an approval rate of 92% for “credible fear” claims before the 2014 border surge.
“Unfortunately the high approval rate for credible fear claims, and the resulting backlog in the immigration court system, have meant that in practice ‘credible fear’ has served to screen into the United States undocumented aliens wishing to make asylum claims,” the official told Congress at the time. “That explains why many illegal border crossers don’t run from the U.S. Border Patrol, but instead seek them out to make asylum claims subject only to the low threshold of credible fear.”
By 2013 Obama amnesty had spread like wildfire in Mexico, igniting a crisis in a border crossing overwhelmed by illegal immigrants who were taught that using “key words and phrases” would allow them to enter and remain in the U.S. In just one day, a California news station reported that 199 illegal immigrants came through the Otay crossing in San Diego, claiming “credible fear” of Mexican drug cartels.
A Border Patrol agent said this in the report: “They are being told if they come across, when they come up to the border and they say certain words, they will be allowed into the country.” Federal agents at the Otay crossing got so overwhelmed, the processing center was shut down and cases were shipped by van to another station in San Ysidro. A chunk of the illegal aliens that were granted asylum hearings entered the U.S. through Mexico, but they came from as far away as Africa and Asia, according to DHS officials cited in a mainstream newspaper report.
It appears that the “credible fear” gravy train has finally come to a halt and illegal immigrants and their open border allies are suing the Trump administration to return to the good ole days. In a complaint filed recently in a District of Columbia federal court, a group of illegal aliens allege that the administration denied them asylum to punish them and deter “other victims of persecution from seeking asylum in the United States.” The new policy is unconstitutional, the illegal immigrants assert, and violates the laws and treaties of the United States as well as the basic principles of international law.
The plaintiffs, who are in federal custody in Texas, are from Guatemala, Honduras, Ghana, Sierra Leone and Guinea and court documents say they were all “forced to flee their homelands due to the ongoing violence there.” The asylum seekers’ pro bono attorneys are from Texas RioGrande Legal Aid, a nonprofit that represents migrants and seasonal farm workers throughout the state. They admit in the complaint that the Guatemalan plaintiff, Aracely Rodriguez, had been denied asylum in 2016 after crossing into the U.S. illegally through Hidalgo, Texas. She was ordered to leave the country but crossed the Mexican border again earlier this year.