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EOIR Statistics Expose Asylum Farce
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May 24, 2004, 09:00 AM
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Also by Juan Mann regarding the "credible fear" asylum process: "VDARE.COM Reader Reveals More Refugee Benefit Fraud" And from DeportAliens.com – "Credible fear and loathingreal life in the airport as aliens drop from the sky"

The credible fear review process used by arriving aliens claiming asylum—in order to avoid immediate removal by Department of Homeland Security (DHS) immigration inspectors—has been exposed for the charade that it is by the DHS` evil twin of the federal immigration bureaucracy: the Justice Department`s Executive Office for Immigration Review (EOIR).

The  proof is a statistical gem buried in the EOIR`s statistical report for fiscal year 2003. [PDF] During the entire year, the EOIR reported that it received only 43 aliens that the DHS had found not credible in the credible fear interview process. Untold hundreds, if not thousands, were found to be "credible" and thus avoided immediate removal at ports of entry nationwide. (See credible fear—Table 3, Page C2).

So why is this significant?

When the DHS finds asylum applicants "credible" and waives summary removal, they are released from custody to continue their journey into the United States. They have the benefit of full asylum hearings and the right to hide out by litigating in the EOIR Immigration Court swamp.  

As a practical matter, they`re home free. The Department of Justice`s Office of Inspector General reported that 97 percent of all asylum-seekers from ANY country who were released from immigration custody were never apprehended again by the federal government, and were never deported. [PDF pages 15-16].

So, while the aliens are supposedly applying for asylum, they are in reality abusing a process that has become nothing more than a rubber stamp.

I told you these statistics on the asylum racket in March, 2003. Author Michelle Malkin recently testified before the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and told them the same thing.

So how did all of this madness get started?

Thousands of aliens arrive at land border ports of entry, seaports and airports in the United States every day. Those who are caught arriving without proper documents, or attempting to enter the country by fraud, can be turned back to their home countries under the expedited removal provisions of Immigration Act Section 235(b).

Congress created this streamlined removal alternative to the EOIR Immigration Court bureaucracy as part of the 1996 amendments to the Immigration Act. This provision, Section 235(b) happens to be my favorite part of immigration law.

It allows DHS Customs and Border Protection (CBP) inspectors to do what they are trained to do—apply the immigration laws of the U.S. to determine who has the correct documents to come in, and who doesn`t. Those who don`t have a right to come in are turned around and sent back.

And it`s all done without EOIR bureaucrats in robes, federal judges and Treason Lobby attorneys. What a concept!

Illegal aliens and their Treason Lobby lawyers fear Immigration Act Section 235(b).

They want to avoid being summarily turned around by the DHS. Their goal is to get away from the expedited removal track and into the litigation safe haven of the EOIR Immigration Court.

So how do these aliens get in if they`re caught red-handed with false documents at a port of entry or in an airport?

Answer: They claim asylum!

And they`re in luck. In 1996, Congress also included a streamlined asylum review process called a "credible fear" interview as a companion to the summary removal of Section 235(b).

For aliens claiming that they are afraid to return to their home countries, the DHS will assign an asylum officer from Eduardo Aguirre`s Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to interview the alien. The asylum officer will make a judgment as to whether the alien has a "credible fear" of returning home based on one of the accepted grounds for asylum.

So the EOIR statistical report reveals that during fiscal year 2003—out of all the credible fear interviews conducted by all the DHS asylum officers, at all the land border ports of entry and at all airports nationwide—the DHS found that only 43 aliens who took advantage of the process did not have a credible fear of persecution. Amazing!

The 43 credible fear claims rejected by the DHS in 2003 represents an all-time low since the EOIR started recording these statistics in 1999. (Table 3, Page C2)

These unlucky 43 were also referred to the EOIR for the limited purpose of reviewing whether the DHS` rejection of the credible fear claim was proper. (See credible fear—Table 3, Page C2; and for further explanation, see Page C1, and Glossary Page 7) The EOIR completed all of these 43 credible fear denial cases. (Table 4, Page C3)

Unless these 43 suddenly changed their stories—or figured out how to tell them more convincingly to the immigration judges—I presume that the EOIR supported the DHS` decision to remove the aliens through an order under Section 235(b).

I presume. Because, remember, these 43 aliens were the ones that even Eduardo Aguirre`s troops found not credible.

But if the DHS disbelieved the claims of only 43 aliens, how many arriving aliens did it approve for "credible fear"?

Answer: mysteriously, this interesting number is not in the EOIR`s statistical yearbook. And the DHS isn`t talking.

So we`re going to have to figure it out ourselves.

The Credible Fear aliens approved by the DHS and taken out of the Section 235(b) summary removal process were thrown into EOIR`s general receiving bin for Immigration Court cases.

The EOIR reported that it received 65,153 asylum cases in 2003 (Figure 14, Page I-2). (Asylum is also granted by DHS Asylum service centers.) Of these, the EOIR reported that it received 18,642 "defensive" asylum applications—that is, from aliens filing for asylum for the first time during the Immigration Court process. That figure includes both aliens who file for asylum when they are already in the United States, both legally and illegally—and aliens caught at the time of their arrival,

So the number of Credible Fear cases approved by DHS at ports of entry must be somewhere up to 18,642 aliens. (Figure 13, Page I-1)

I previously reported [April 12, 2004] that according to DHS sources, 93 percent of all aliens who ask for asylum through the credible fear review process are found to have a credible fear of persecution.

But with up to 18,642 aliens approved and 43 denied, the real pass rate could be as high as 99.8 percent!

This bureaucratic joke isn`t funny.

It`s time for the DHS to put some credibility back into the Credible Fear screening process . . . and close this gigantic loophole for fraudulent asylum-seekers.

Juan Mann [send him email] is a lawyer and the proprietor of DeportAliens.com.