U.S. Seeing a Surge in Central American Asylum Seekers

Cindy Chang and Kate Linthicum, Los Angeles Times, December 15, 2013

He was 10 when the gangsters flung rocks through the windows, and 12 when they beat him black and blue. At 15, a gang member shot at him while he was shopping at a grocery store—and killed his cousin instead.

At 17, he left Honduras for the United States.

He applied for political asylum, telling a judge that if he returned home, the gang that had slain his father would kill him, too.

Now 20, working as a gardener and living with his mother and siblings in Los Angeles, the man is one of a growing number of Central Americans asking for asylum. His claim was denied, and lawyers from the Central American Resource Center in Los Angeles are helping him appeal. {snip}

In the last five years, “credible fear” applications at the border have increased sevenfold, from just under 5,000 to more than 36,000, driven largely by an influx from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

Advocates for the immigrants say the surge can be traced to worsening gang and drug violence in Central America. Others say people who cross the border are simply becoming more aware of asylum as an option.

“People used to think the only thing you could do was sneak across,” said Judy London, directing attorney of the Immigrants’ Rights Project at the Los Angeles pro bono law firm Public Counsel. “They’ve learned that you can just go up to a border agent and tell them you want asylum.”


On Thursday, the House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to address reports that the asylum system is being exploited, including by Mexican drug traffickers.


Even with the recent increase, the number of asylum seekers is lower now than in the early 1990s, when a coup in Haiti and a court settlement in favor of Central Americans resulted in a flood of claims.

Most asylum applications are still made from inside the country, rather than by claiming credible fear at the border. People who are in the U.S. legally—on a tourist or business visa, for example—file “affirmative” applications, which have also increased, though not as rapidly as credible fear applications. Combined, the two categories have more than doubled in the last five years, exceeding 80,000 in fiscal year 2013. The number of people winning asylum has increased only slightly, with about 30,000 cases approved in 2012.

Statistics show that an immigrant’s chance of winning asylum depends largely on where he or she is from.

In 2012, more than 10,000 people from China were granted asylum, compared with just 126 Mexicans and 234 Hondurans, according to federal data. Immigration court figures, which do not include cases approved in an initial hearing by an asylum officer, show a success rate of nearly 50% for Chinese versus 1% for Mexicans.

Still, the process buys time. Almost 90% of credible fear applicants pass an initial screening interview, which allows them to live and work in the U.S. until their cases are resolved—often a matter of years.


Still, immigration attorney Eric Price tells his Mexican and Central American clients that it may be worth filing an asylum case, even if they end up losing.

“Three uncertain years in the safety of L.A. is much better than three years of certain threat in Guatemala,” Price said. Besides, he added, the denial of asylum doesn’t always result in a deportation order, thanks to an initiative by President Obama that allows immigration officials discretion in whom they deport.

At last week’s congressional hearing, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) accused some asylum seekers of “gaming the system,” adding: “They essentially get free education, free healthcare.”

Fraud has been an issue, with underground asylum industries thriving in some ethnic communities.

Last year in New York, 26 people, including six attorneys, were indicted on charges that they manufactured asylum claims and coached Chinese clients on how to lie to immigration authorities. One church employee allegedly provided religious training so applicants could pass as Christians.


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  • Puggg

    The unnamed man we are told about at the beginning is probably as big of a gang banger as the gang bangers he’s trying to get away from.

  • shmo123

    Does this asylum scam never end? There are central Americans in this country on “temporary visas” from earthquakes that happened years ago. They’ll never leave. Now they’re learning all you have to do is get here, say the magic word, and you get at least three years to play the system. Ten to one those who claim asylum will never get deported either. Like one immigration lawyer said: “It’s not over until the defendant wins”.

    • borogirl54

      I personally think that these denied asylum seekers are hoping that immigration reform will pass so that can stay here with permanent residency.

  • Daniel Schmuhl

    Since most of the third world is incapable of creating stable functioning societies by nature, they will always be in a state of crisis and seek asylum. This will never end until whites say enough is enough.

  • IstvanIN

    Where do we go for asylum now that blacks are hunting us in the streets of the country we built?

    • Spartacus

      Japan ?

      • IstvanIN

        Why should the Japanese take us in? Knowing us we would start complaining about how the Japanese government isn’t doing enough to help blacks, muslims, Mexicans and who knows what else.

    • Homo_Occidentalis

      Maybe we could pull a Snowden and flee to Russia. I know it isn’t glamorous living, but it seems to be the last defender of Western civilization.

      • At the risk of earning many downvotes, Israel is also an outpost of Western civilization. They have recognized the harm that blacks do, even Jewish blacks, and are halting black immigration.

        • Anna Tree

          Russia is a better option in my opinion: Israel is doomed, it’s not only the Jewish blacks, it’s a melting pot too for a white racialist point of view: there is Jews from Yemen, Iran, Morocco etc If the white Jews ever wake up and stop miscegenating, after all they are there as much leftist as here, it will be too late because Israelis are a few millions and so the mixing was/is very fast. I foresee the Ashkanaze high IQ to get lower, and therefor a notable decrease of Jewish achievements.

    • NeanderthalDNA

      Costa Rica. The Whitest place in Central America. Nobody from there tries to get in the US through asylum. CR has similar immigration concerns and is a popular destination for their neighbors.

      With CR’s relatively extensive and modestly effective social safety net, they don’t want economic “asylum” refugees either.

      At the very time to build a wall our prezzy wants to build it with evil White taxpayer $$$$ but keep the gates spread as WIDE open as a Tijuana donkey show performer’s…

      Anyway, Costa Rica. Nice retirement place except for the volcanoes.

      • IstvanIN

        NJ has a very large illegal immigrant population from Costa Rica. Yes, the Costa Ricans are “whiter” than their central American neighbors, and yes they have a battle with illegals from Guatemalans invading their turf and they do keep their blacks relatively isolated, but they are not as white as you may believe.

        • NeanderthalDNA

          Again, the whitest tend to not come here.

          • IstvanIN

            You would be surprised. None the less Costa Rica isn’t Finland in the tropics.

  • Spartacus

    “They essentially get free education, free healthcare.”


    I seriously doubt they’re getting an education… More likely, a worthless piece of paper that most of them can’t even read, either because it’s they don’t know English, or because they can’t read at all.

  • Asylum for everybody.
    American tax dollars for everybody, except working Americans.

    • Marc Zuckurburg

      We need comprehensive immigration reform.

      Comprehensive immigration reform will raise wages and salaries, strengthen national security, prevent terrorism, enhance our domestic crime-fighting ability, ensure that we continue to encourage the best and brightest to partake of the American dream, enhance our competitiveness and our ability to innovate, and make America more prosperous.

      Make my immigration reform comprehensive, please!

  • bigone4u

    We need real “comprehensive immigration reform,” as in no asylum, no amnesty, go back home on your own or we’ll bus you back. All while building an impenetrable wall (like the Great Wall of China) from the Gulf of Mexico to the Pacific Ocean.

  • borogirl54

    From what I understand, the majority of claims are denied because the applicants are not victims of their government, but a gang. The asylum guidelines do not include criminal gangs as a legitimate reason for asylum.

    • Daniel Schmuhl

      With their governments the distinction between gang and government isn’t all too clear.

  • So CAL Snowman

    ““Three uncertain years in the safety of L.A. is much better than three
    years of certain threat in Guatemala,” Price said. Besides, he added,
    the denial of asylum doesn’t always result in a deportation order,
    thanks to an initiative by President Obama that allows immigration
    officials discretion in whom they deport.”

    I had to laugh out loud here at “the safety of L.A.” Apparently no one told them there is little to no difference between L.A. and Guatemala. L.A. may even be more dangerous as it probably has more MS-13 gangsters and Mexican cartel members than Guatemala.

    • Anna Tree

      The problem is that they don’t all stay in L.A….

  • They may very well be in need of asylum, but the USA has done far, far more than its fair share. Let them apply elsewhere.

  • kenfrombayside

    Keep the pressure on your reps in congress. Giving 11 – 30 million (nobody knows for sure) criminal lawbreakers legalization pure insanity. Plus, they could sponsor their relatives; that would bring the total up to about 50 million aliens in our midst. Of course, these new citizens will vote for the vile democrats and their socialist giveaways. Most of them will be unskilled, uneducated, low IQ etc. Stop this outrageous bill now. Don’t sit on the sidelines.You are not wasting your time. The American people don’t want this bill. You have to do all you can do to stem the third world assault:
    – Contact your 2 US Senators and rep in congress.
    – after biz hours, leave a message on your DC rep’s voicemail. All US Senators have multiple offices so it would be a good idea to hit all of the. Remember, be civil and don’t threaten
    – go to NUMBERSUSA then go to the take action button. You will be able to send faxes to your 2 US Senators and congressional for free. (I also gave a $50 donation).
    – use Business Reply envelopes to state your opposition to America’s insane immigration policies and the proposed amnesty. Don’t give the parties any money.
    – join an immigration group like FAIR. Strength thru numbers!
    – go to the RNC & DNC sites to email them.
    – Use the media: call a talk radio program; write a letter to your local paper. If the media outlet is liberal, then talk about economic impact of massive third world immigration.
    – text everybody in your cell phone queue now.

  • John K

    You’ll never read an article that starts off telling us about a little white girl who was abducted, raped, and murdered by an illegal alien or “asylum seeker”.

    These are all vermin who bring their violent ways and savagery to America, and laugh at you while robbing your homes while you’re at work or attempting to rape or murder you; and they usually are collecting some form of welfare. America, the land of opportunists and gangsters. Watch the predator check segments on the news at night, and they’re mostly Hispanic and in the country illegally.

    I am tired of reading about sob stories of these “poor, oppressed Latinos” who gain entry into America after escaping their cesspools, and then demand that we change to accommodate them. “Asylum seeker = criminal that screwed over another criminal, and now has a price on his head.

  • mikebowen55

    These “asylum seekers” should be referred to Jesus for a consultation and we should arrange the meeting. I’m sure they’d seek “asylum” (handouts) elsewhere or just stay in their cesspools in that case.

    • Bossman

      What is His e-mail address? You would think that after all this time He could at least provide an e-mail address for his followers.

  • Allan477

    If he were really looking for political asylum, why doesn’t he look for it in a Spanish-speaking country?

  • Strike_Team

    I can tell you that I’ve been involved in the arrest of “asylum seekers”. Sometimes we’d arrest gangbangers and find out that brothers were in the group. Brothers here on asylum. Brothers that had been given asylum because they claimed that the brother they had been arrested with had been killed in back in their homelands. Along with their mother. But their mother is also in town! Along with with her mile-wide behind from using her EBT card at Carl’s Jr., and be sure to note the stroller she’s pushing that holds another gangbanger in training. All the murdered relatives are alive, well, and living in SoCal together, sometimes not even bothering to change their names. It’s a joke, and no investigations are done. No way. This is by design. The people behind this make sure things are rubber-stamped. Just as they are whenever one of their own wants to move to the US and aid in the plunder. Automatic asylum. They are permanent refugees. It’s Bizarro World meets the Twilight Zone.

    Whole families move here, sometimes changing names to engage in the fraud, sometimes not. They already know the stupid gringos will let them in and then pay for their housing and food. And continue to do so even if they do bother to get a job.

  • ViktorNN

    I can’t agree.

    For average pro-white people like us, immigration is probably the most important issue we face. Doing nothing is just not acceptable.

    The fact is, grassroots activists stopped the Bush amnesty of 2007, and grassroots activists stopped amnesty from happening this year.

    I just got an email from NumbersUSA today reporting that its activists sent over 5 MILLION faxes to politicians last year. NumbersUSA has 1.5 MILLION members. We aren’t alone.

    White societies have many problems that boring ol’ phone calling and faxing won’t solve – but we have to fight on many fronts and think short term as well as long term. We have to fight back every way we can.

    Our enemies want us to be apathetic, to sit down and be quiet, and to go meekly into oblivion. Not me, and I hope not you!

  • mobilebay

    Has anyone noticed the lack of concrete discussion about immigration by those in government, the numerous news programs, or the print media? By that, I mean the truth being spoken on what this unlimited, mass invasion is doing to this nation. If any of you read Frosty Wooldridge’s columns in NewswithViews, he lays it all out better than anyone…and it isn’t a pretty picture. We are losing our sovereignity, our language and our common culture. In past eras, our leaders protected this country and its citizens. Today, they welcome the enemy. And no one speaks of it.

  • Anna Tree

    I presume you are replying to my first post much above here.

    You say 90? I can believe this, Palestinians, Ethiopians, Yemenites, Morrocans etc have lower IQs. This corroborates what I speculated in my post, that the Ashakanaz IQ in Israel will decrease due to miscegenation with lower IQs Jews and with it the Jewish scientific etc contribution, including Nobel prizes will also decrease by a third at least.