There’s a mismatch in the numbers when it comes to two key indicators of asylum seekers. Now, White House Senior Adviser Stephen Miller has some changes he’d like made with the initial screening.
Currently, around 90% of those seeking asylum pass the first hurdle in their initial interview with asylum officials. This is enough to grant the vast majority of them release into the United States interior with a piece of paper telling them where and when to show up for their actual asylum hearing.
But only 10% actually show up for the hearing. This mismatch tells us there’s a serious problem with the initial screening process. Miller wants to put more of the initial decision-making in the hands of border patrol agents themselves.
In the email, a National Security Council official tells Customs and Border Protection officials to come prepared to a meeting scheduled for Friday, July 26, because Miller is interested in the rate of approval for initial screenings for migrants interviewed by Border Patrol agents versus asylum officers.
The first step for migrants seeking asylum in the U.S. is convincing asylum officers that they have a “credible fear” for their safety if they return to their home countries. The asylum officers, referred to in the email as “CIS” because they work for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, were giving approval at rates above 90 percent.
“I can almost assure you,” said the email, “that the credible fear integrity (discussion) will be centered on the numbers … you all are seeing with [Border Patrol] agents assessing credible fear as opposed to the 97 + % he was seeing only with CIS.”
While the NBC story tries to paint this as a negative, it’s actually a good idea. There are criteria that can be taught to border patrol agents. Being an asylum officer is not a specialized job like being a full-blown judge. One needs only understand the criteria, speak the language, ask the right questions, and judge the responses. That’s not to belittle the job, but it’s not something that requires years of education and practice.
It is clear based on the numbers that too many people who shouldn’t pass the initial screening are doing so. If they had valid claims, 90% wouldn’t disappear into the interior. Much more would understand their claims have merit and would attempt to make their residency permanent. But the narrative has been driven home by Democrats and international open borders advocates that they don’t need to return for their asylum hearing because we won’t try to deport them. This lie is common and harming the migrants as much as it’s harming the United States.
If we’re going to keep the asylum policy as is, then we need to do a better job of enforcing the laws governing it. That means economic migrants, of which the majority are, should be stopped and removed as soon as they get here.
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