Attorney General Jeff Sessions called on Congress to immediately pass legislation to reform the broken, and abused, refugee asylum process.
Sessions also highlighted serious problems with the Executive Office for the Immigration Review (OIR) which oversees America’s immigration courts. He explained, “The immigration laws that Congress has enacted are some of the most generous in the world. Indeed, we will soon reach the highest level of non-native born Americans in our history.”
However, a failure to properly defend the border, and remove criminal aliens has resulted in an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants currently living in the United States – possibly more. One of the ways by which these illegals take advantage of the present, and unreformed, immigration regime is by fraudulently claiming “credible fear” that unmet claims for asylum may result in harms.
Thankfully, Sessions has started to make full use of the “expedited removal” process that the Department of Homeland Security uses to bypass expensive, tedious and time-consuming immigration appeals processes. However, all those illegals that simply, and lazily utter the words, “credible fear” in broken English are made exempt from this process. In fact, many smugglers of illegals and open borders advocates instruct illegals to do just this, if they are caught by ICE, or other border defense authorities.
Jeff Sessions called for a review and overhaul of this much-abused trick, but still acknowledged, “[credible fear] is an important exception. We have a generous asylum policy that is meant to protect those who, through no fault of their own, cannot co-exist in their home country no matter where they go because of persecution based on fundamental things like their religion or nationality. Unfortunately, this system is currently subject to rampant abuse and fraud.”
Before 2009, under this “credible fear” loophole, illegals sometimes – but rarely- have to go through an interview where they have to explain what their “credible fears” are, before being released from custody. This all changed in 2009, when the Obama administration issued a new guidance that made the consideration for release automatic for everyone. What that meant in practice is that asylum seekers were no longer detained, but were simply released, after saying the magic words, “credible fear.” The result of the Obama administration guidance was a massively increasing rate of “credible fear” exceptions.
Andrew Arthur, a retired Federal Immigration Judge, and Resident Fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, explains, “This is a pretty easy way into the United States. Individuals who wanted to enter illegally, and individuals who had hired smugglers, were aware of the fact that if they said the words ‘credible fear’ the odds are that they would be released and that they’d be allowed to continue into the United States.”
“The president’s proposals on asylum reform especially are crucial,” Arthur further added. “There are many loopholes in the asylum system, and the president appropriately has noted that we need to elevate the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews.”
Sessions, for his part, was firm in supporting the administration’s planned changes.
“What we cannot do—what we must not do—is continue to let our generosity be abused,” he said. “We cannot capitulate to lawlessness and allow the very foundation of law upon which our country depends to be further undermined.”