Joel Mowbray

America should take pride in serving as refuge for millions from around the world fleeing persecution, but the asylum system is meant only for the truly deserving.  Because almost anyone is free to seek asylum, it practically invites exploitation.

Asylum judges have been denied one of the most effective devices for ferreting out frauds and phonies?and terrorists.  Various Ninth Circuit decisions have made it near-impossible for a judge to deny asylum based on the grounds that the applicant does not appear credible. 

Juries are supposed to weigh the credibility of all witnesses in reaching a verdict, but yet professionals who?ve spent sometimes decades honing their craft, which includes reading people, are prohibited in the Ninth Circuit from performing this basic function.

The Ninth Circuit has also made it extremely difficult for a judge to deny asylum because the applicant has failed to provide any corroborating evidence, or other proof to back up a claim.  REAL ID would allow a judge to do so if he believes it is reasonable to expect the asylum-seeker to provide some.

All these provisions could become law in the near future, as the House attached REAL ID to a must-pass supplemental spending bill.  The only stumbling block is that Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID) wants to add an actual immigration-related amendment to the spending bill, which the Senate is slated to take up this week. 

According to various Hill sources, Craig wants to offer an amnesty for illegal aliens who spend at least six years in agriculture.  It probably would pass the Senate, but it?s strongly opposed in the House.  The likely end result would be a ?compromise? in the conference?where the two chambers reconcile the differences in legislation?in which the Senate drops Craig?s immigration amendment and the House drops Sensenbrenner?s security provisions.

Knowing Sensenbrenner?s track record, however, the safe money is on the steely Wisconsin lawmaker.  When he failed to win on his drivers license proposals last December, the media claimed he had been defeated.  What they missed were several key victories on security measures that Democrats bitterly opposed, including making it easier to prosecute ?material support? for terrorism and to track so-called lone wolf terrorists.

And if he wins once again, so do we.

Joel Mowbray

Joel Mowbray, who got his start with, is an award-winning investigative journalist, nationally-syndicated columnist and author of Dangerous Diplomacy: How the State Department Threatens America's Security.

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