White House Spreads Lies About Asylum "Loopholes"
By Kevin Schuster
A new report, The Crisis At The Border By The Numbers, released by the White House continues to spread falsehoods about asylum in the United States—despite being labeled a "fact sheet." The report specifies that recent spikes in asylum claims are due to migrants exploiting U.S. asylum laws when, in fact, the spike in asylum claims is directly related to the growing world refugee crisis. The Trump White House is, once again, ignoring the world refugee crisis, misrepresenting the asylum system, and painting people seeking protection as criminals.
The report reads that, since 2011, loopholes in the asylum system has caused a sharp increase in migrants claiming credible fear and has created a large backlog in the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services asylum process. Indeed, credible fear claims in the United States have increased significantly, along with the rest of the global community. Since 2008, the number of submitted asylum applications throughout the world grew by 126%. The reason behind the rise in credible fear claims, however, is not migrants exploiting the U.S. asylum law, but an increased number of refugees.
Since 2008, the global number of refugees increased by 67%—reaching an astounding 25.4 million people at the end of 2017.
Recently, the United States, along with Belize, Costa Rica, Mexico, and Panama, have been particularly prone to increases in credible fear claims due to significant increase in refugees stemming from neighboring countries like El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. Central America had a 58% increase in refugees from 2016 to 2017. It only makes sense that the number of people claiming credible fear increases as the number of refugees increase.
The purported factsheet also points out an increase in pending asylum applications, creating a large backlog in the immigration courts. The White House, again, blames this on migrants exploiting U.S. laws. If the increase truly was caused by loopholes in U.S. asylum laws, this issue would be unique to the United States. However, the global number of pending asylum cases has seen a 273.75% increase over the past 10 years.
These false claims administered by the White House show their utter disregard for human rights. Instead of protecting people who fear for their lives, the Trump Administration is misrepresenting numbers to serve their anti-immigration agenda. There simply is no evidence that refugees exploit U.S. asylum laws. The White House's flagrant dishonesty only adds to the suffering of the world's most vulnerable people.