‘Congress needs to remove the main impediments to ending ‘catch and release’…’
(Michael Barnes, Liberty Headlines) Loopholes in the American immigration system are being exploited to great effect, according to the Center for Immigration Studies.
A new report by the watchdog group documents how illegal immigrants, especially alien minors, are being apprehended at the southern border and released into the country at unprecedented levels.
One of the main ways is the “credible fear” process, in which apprehended undocumented immigrants are caught and released by simply expressing a fear of returning to their countries of origin.
The report cites government records showing a shocking leap in credible fear cases over the course of the Obama administration.
From 5,523 credible fear cases in fiscal year 2009, to 88,864 cases in fiscal year 2016 – a 1,600 percent increase.
And it’s not just economic migrants who are taking advantage of the system.
“Criminal elements, particularly traffickers and smugglers, know the loopholes in our immigration laws and exploit them to our nation’s detriment,” said Andrew Arthur, the report’s author, and a former immigration judge.
“Congress needs to remove the main impediments to ending ‘catch and release,’” Authur said.
In October, Attorney General Jeff Sessions said that “saying a few simple words is now transforming a straightforward arrest and immediate return into a probable release and a hearing – if the alien shows for the hearing.”
Department of Homeland Security records show that 88 percent of credible fear cases are adjudicated, meaning nine out of ten the aliens avoid removal.
What’s more, half of those who have passed credible fear screens for asylum, never end up filing an asylum application once released into the country, the report says.
This suggests the asylum claims lacked merit.
Other loopholes include the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, which results in the release of a large number of alien minors who are not in fact trafficking victims, and a court settlement known as Flores v. Reno, which creates a legal presumption that illegal minors at the border should be allowed to enter the country.
The recent so-called immigrant Caravan is a logical extension of the known loopholes, the study asserts, while citing news reports of organizers assisting Central American migrants, the sharing of asylum-friendly Facebook videos, and hundreds more immigrants boarding trains and buses to reach the California border “where many planned to apply for asylum.”
Last month, more than 50,000 aliens were apprehended.
Since 2016, more than 107,000 ostensibly unaccompanied alien minors, as well as many of the 167,000 aliens travelling in family units (adults with children), were apprehended and released into the country.
Exploitation of the stated immigration loopholes has led to a 200 percent increase in the number of aliens entering illegally or seeking entry without proper documents since an initial decline after the election of President Trump.