GOP Leader Demands DHS Probe Of Soaring Asylum Claims From Mexico

Critics of current immigration reform efforts in Washington have claimed would-be immigrants are using the credible fear reason to pursue asylum as a loophole to gain legal entry into the U.S., citing fear of drug cartel violence in Mexico. Immigration experts said the concerns are overstated.

The chairman of the politically powerful House Judiciary Committee is asking the Department of Homeland Security to investigate the surge in political asylum requests by Mexican citizens.

Rep. Robert Goodlatte, a Republican from Virginia, sent a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano expressing concern over the rise in asylum requests from 5,222 in 2009 to 23,408 so far this year.

Goodlatte noted that 92 percent of those requesting asylum are allowed to proceed with their case, despite the fact that 91 percent of their claims end up being denied.

Since the U.S. immigration system allows those going through an asylum claim to stay in this country until their case is resolved –though generally they remain detained while their await their day in court — Goodlatte said: “I am concerned that credible fear claims are being exploited by illegal immigrants in order to enter and remain in the United States.”

The congressman further noted that those claiming asylum often fail to appear in court, and become another part of the estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants living here. He said the House of Representatives would address the Mexican asylum surge as its members discuss ways to overhaul the immigration system.


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