More Asylum Seekers Game America’s Immigration System



A surge in asylum seekers is swamping U.S. immigration courts and swelling the country’s illegal-alien population.

Since 2008, asylum claims soared 1,700 percent. “We have seen the backlog explode to over 300,000 cases for asylum,” reports Jonathan Hoffman, assistant secretary at the Department of Homeland Security.

“It’s a huge thing — it is almost half of our legal immigration flow per year,” according to Rosemary Jenks, policy director at NumbersUSA.

Though 62 percent of asylum claims are eventually rejected by the courts – and that rate is rising – the growing backlog of cases effectively jams the system and further delays processing of bona fide refugees.

“Asylum is enshrined as a right in both U.S. and international law,” Lyman Stone wrote recently in The Federalist. “However, asylum has become increasingly controversial in the United States and Europe as a growing share of foreign citizens attempt to claim asylum, raising questions over whether this once-modestly-sized migration program faces abuse and misuse.”

(For some global perspective, Japan received 19,628 requests for asylum last year, a record for that country. Twenty were granted.)

While waiting for their cases to be heard – a process that can take two years or longer – asylum seekers who make it to America are temporarily held in Immigration and Customs Enforcement facilities, then released into the general population.

They don’t go empty-handed.

In fiscal 2017, the Department of Homeland Security approved 403,000 work permits for migrants based on pending asylum claims. The Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) qualify them for Social Security cards and driver’s licenses.

 Asylum seekers, legitimate or not, are typically unskilled individuals dependent on government aid. Their children – who make up a growing percentage of asylum seekers — are in public schools. Families get taxpayer-funded medical care, plus state assistance, as well as federal tax-related subsidies, including the child credit and the Earned Income Tax Credit.

When asylees’ claims are ultimately rejected, months or years after they crossed our borders, legal documents are supposed to be revoked and the individuals removed from the country.

Who are we kidding? By then, they have become embedded among America’s 12 million illegal aliens, and overwhelmed federal agencies have nowhere near the resources necessary to effect removal.

“Our immigration system is clearly being gamed,” says the DHS’s Hoffman.

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.

8 Comments

  1. avatar

    Change the rules. Asylum seekers must not be here until they are granted asylum. All illegals must leave. Period. The United States is being destroyed by our own governments stupidity.

  2. avatar
    Margot Lowe on

    Is there a law or court case precident limiting how long asylum seekers can be held in detention?

  3. avatar

    Okay… So we allow no more asylum seekers in. This asylum loophole needs to be eliminated. Congress and Trump? No wonder Mexican people refer to American people as “dumb gringos”!

    • avatar
      Concerned Citizen on

      A couple of changes to ease this mess. First, NOBODY should be allowed to show up at ANY of our borders & be allowed entry! Let them stay in their OWN country & do all the paperwork & WAIT FOR APPROVAL! ONLY then can they come to a SPECIFIC entry point to be admitted! Second, create a strip of land around our borders filled with ********** & other detergents. Have armed guards in towers who WILL ************* trespassers. Use armed drones to aid in patrolling. These two measures, strictly enforced, WILL greatly reduce invaders who have decided to force their way into our country!

  4. avatar

    And how many billions of people on the planet live under regimes that abuse human rights? What I would like to know is what is the total population of people on the planet who could conceivably qualify for asylum in the US?

    If we were a smart country we would look at the grand total population of people on the planet who could qualify for asylum and ask ourselves if we really want to grant all of these people asylum in the US as long as they are able to set foot in the US.

    China alone has over 1.3 billion people and a brutal totalitarian government. Could over a billion people in China qualify for asylum if they set foot in the US?

    We are going broke with over $20 trillion in debt and are borrowing over $1 trillion a year to maintain the status quo. This cannot continue as interest payments on the debt consume a larger part of the federal budget, interest rates inevitably rise and the cost of entitlement programs increases.

    The history of the world is full of the rise and fall of empires, yet so many people in the US are determined to accelerate the current decline. But history repeats itself and in the meantime it is possible to live well.

    • avatar

      I totally agree. There a few people actually meeting our persecution standards fir granting asylum. Just as with illegal aliens, these asylum seekers and their complicit countries are simply exploiting and using our weak, foolish, easily manipulated USA. And as thus article explains, these people become immediate drains on our coffers and, through anchor babies remain so pretty much forever. We, through our own refusal to put our own country and people before all others, are literally turning the USA over to foreigners and killing our country. Why, oh why, are we not protecting our country, ourselves and our children’s future!!

  5. avatar

    There was a news report a couple days ago on “asylum seekers” and their children being separated, and some supposed “expert” was saying they wouldn’t come here and be held if they were not “facing death in their country”. It’s long been proven that the vast majority are coming here for economic reasons. It’s like saying because you live in a bad neighborhood in Chicago you therefore have the right to asylum in Canada. No, you simply move out of that situation to another area. It can be done if you want to.

    Asylum seekers are simply reading the script they all know to repeat, claiming they are in danger. First of all, they know there is only a 50% chance they are even stopped at the border. And even if they are, eventually a lot are released with orders to show up in court months or years in the future, and they don’t show. It’s a win-win proposition for them.

    Miami is full of Cubans and Venezuelans who come to “visit” and then immediately claim asylum which is automatically granted to them. Many go on government assistance here and then return for months or longer to the same towns in Cuba where they claimed to be in danger, all the while having their assistance checks mailed to them.

    There is a woman running for mayor in San Francisco who wants illegals who are “violent felons” to be deported. Trump supporter? Right winger? No, she’s a liberal Democrat who helped write the original SF amnesty law. But now, most of the city establishment is claiming she’s “attacking the immigrant community”, even though she’s made it clear she only wants violent felons removed. What kind of sickness infests the left that the rights of American citizens to be protected from violent criminals is subservient to shielding the criminal riff raff of another nation. The phrase used to be if you want to see the future of America look to California. A frightening thought.