Immigrants from Terror Hubs Claiming ‘Credible Fear’ to Seek US Asylum

William La Jeunesse, Fox News, March 22, 2016

Hundreds of illegal immigrants from terror hotspots are using what critics describe as loopholes in U.S. immigration policy to try to remain in the country indefinitely, according to data obtained by Congress.

Taking a page from the playbook used by Central American women and children to gain U.S. entry, hundreds of immigrants from Egypt, Somalia, Pakistan, Iran and Syria caught entering the U.S. last year made asylum claims to avoid deportation–and, in doing so, asserted they had a “credible fear of persecution.”

This phrase is important because it allows them to be released and work in the U.S. Prior to 2009, the U.S. held in custody many asylum seekers entering the U.S. illegally until their cases were resolved in court–but an Obama administration policy change allowed those fearing persecution to be released.


“These numbers illustrate vulnerabilities throughout our immigration system,” Rep. Ron DeSantis, R-Fla., said Tuesday. “Dangerous criminals and potential terrorists are gaming the system without consequence. The Obama administration is compromising our national security and safety for its political agenda.”

DeSantis, chairman of the House Subcommittee on National Security, is set to hold a hearing Wednesday on the potential threat posed by these individuals in light of the Paris and Brussels attacks. {snip}

Stats obtained by the subcommittee from October 2014 to September 2015 show that the bulk of the “credible fear” claims still are coming from Central American and Mexican immigrants. But 80 were from Syrian nationals, 191 were from Pakistani nationals, and 776 were from Somalian nationals.

“They are coming through the backdoor,” Judd said. “Do I believe they have a credible fear? In a small percentage, maybe. But the vast majority we arrest are telling our agents that they are coming because they know they will be released. That’s why they are coming.”


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