The vast new surge of immigrants making asylum claims are beginning to overwhelm the immigration system in the U.S. with nearly 1/3 of those making the request who were released on bond of their own recognizance refusing to show up for their hearing in immigration court.
Morning Ledger previously reported how the Otay crossing near the U.S. border by San Diego was overwhelmed last week by over 200 people gaining legal entry into the United States by saying the key phrase that they had a “credible fear” of drug cartels in their home country of Mexico.
KSAZ Fox Phoenix reported on the incident:
“So many were doing this that they had to close down the processing center and move the overflow by vans to another station.
“’They are being told if they come across the border, when they come up to the border and they say certain words, they will be allowed into the country,’ said a person who did not want to be identified on camera. ‘We are being overwhelmed.’”
While supporters of immigration reform have long claimed that illegal immigrants are basically law-abiding citizens who simply want a better life, it now appears these seeking asylum are showing disrespect for our laws by skipping their immigration hearings to verify their claims.
The Executive Office for Immigration Review’s Statistical Yearbook for 2012 states the number of those refusing to show up for their hearings is up sharply with 66% more no-shows than in 2008.
The numbers seem to suggest the asylum program is being abused by those who use it to gain entry and then never simply disappear. This would seem to belittle the claim that these persons want to “come out of the shadows.” If this were their goal, a court hearing would allow them to legally remain in the country.
However, they may have good reasons for avoiding the court hearings. The raw numbers reveal that in 2012 Mexican nationals made up 9,206 asylum requests, but of these the immigration courts found only 126 claims were valid and worthy of asylum. By comparison, China which is well-known for violating human rights had 11,197 asylum claimants of which 4,705 were granted.
While there is not a breakdown in the report by nationality it does show that in 2012, 29% of all asylum applicants were cited for “failures to appear.” Over 65% of the cases that came before the immigration courts involved immigrants from Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador or Guatemala.
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