CNN's Fareed Zakaria: Guys, Trump is Right About the Asylum Abuse Crisis on the Southern Border

Posted: Jul 03, 2019 1:15 PM

The situation on the U.S. southern border with Mexico continues to deteriorate as hundreds of thousands of Central Americans falsely claim asylum, overwhelming Border Patrol and HHS facilities. 

But while most Democrats are still sitting by with complaints and false accusations instead of solutions, others are finally admitting a crisis exists. 

CNN's Fareed Zakaria is one of them, who took time on his show this week to detail how the current asylum system is being gamed at devastating levels.

"It pains me to say this but he [President Trump] is right that the United States faces a crisis with its asylum system," he said. "Since 2014, the flow of asylum seekers in to the United States has skyrocketed. Last year immigration courts received 162,00 asylum claims, a 240 percent increase since 2014. The result is a staggering backlog with more than 300,000 claims pending and the average immigration case has been pending on average for more than 700 days."

"It's also clear the rules surrounding asylum are vague, lax and being gamed," he continued. "Some applicants for asylum have suspiciously similar stories, using identical phrases. Many simply use the system to enter the U.S. and then melt into the shadows or gain a work permit. Asylum is meant to be granted to a very small amount of people in extreme circumstances, not as a substitute for the process of immigration itself."

Zakaria pointed out the initial standard for asylum is far too broad and that while the murder rate in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala has been cut in half, thousands of migrants are falsely claiming asylum due to "violence." 

"Hundreds of millions of people who live around the world in poor, unstable regions where threats of violence abound, could easily apply for asylum. Do they all have a legal right to enter the U.S. through a back door? By passing the normal immigration process?" he asked. "The criteria for asylum need to be rewritten and substantially tightened...people should not be able to use asylum claims as a way to work in America."

Zakaria is spot on and it's time for Congress to act.