In hopes of cutting down on fraud and abuse, Attorney General Bill Barr has implemented a new ruling requiring that individuals seeking asylum in the United States be held in detention facilities until their court date. Essentially, Barr is ending catch-and-release of those claiming asylum.
New ruling by Attorney General William Barr ends "catch and release,"part of a larger Trump Administration effort to deter asylum seekers from entering the US illegally. @CBSThisMorning pic.twitter.com/9pwI0bqdJr— Paula Reid (@PaulaReidCBS) April 17, 2019
As a reminder, the vast majority of asylum claims are thrown out and "credible fear" or "reasonable fear" statements are fraudulently used to gain access to the United States. A reminder from the White House:
-There has been a massive spike in migrants claiming asylum at the border regardless of whether their claims have merit or not.
-Prior to 2013, 1 out of every 100 aliens arriving at the border claimed credible fear and sought asylum. That number has skyrocketed to 1 out of every 10.
-Less than 10 percent of those who were granted credible fear in 2018 were ultimately approved for asylum.
-Capacity at immigration facilities has been pushed to its limit, driving our already broken system from “catch-and-release” to just release.
-Congress needs to fix our asylum laws by raising the credible fear standard and tightening eligibility to prevent abuse of the system.
-Currently, migrants with meritless claims often cross the border illegally, claim “credible fear,” and gain release into the interior of the country.
Currently, the asylum backlog sits at nearly 500,000 cases with an additional 348,000 individuals waiting in the immigration court system.
"Lengthy backlogs in asylum processing undermine the integrity of the asylum system. They delay legal protection for individuals who are legitimately fleeing persecution and have valid asylum claims. Further, such delays are a 'pull factor' for illegal immigration," a report from the State Department details. "By providing protection from removal, they create an incentive for those without lawful status to enter and remain in the United States. Asylum applicants also are eligible to obtain employment authorization after their asylum applications have been pending for six months, creating an incentive to file frivolous or fraudulent asylum applications."
The Senate Judiciary Committee is also working on legislation to address the asylum issue.