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Judicial Watch • DHS Knew Illegal Aliens Falsely Claimed “Credible Fear” to Stay in U.S.

DHS Knew Illegal Aliens Falsely Claimed “Credible Fear” to Stay in U.S.

DHS Knew Illegal Aliens Falsely Claimed “Credible Fear” to Stay in U.S.

NOVEMBER 23, 2015

The Obama administration let hundreds of illegal immigrants stay in the U.S. even though federal authorities knew in advance that an open borders group coached them to falsely claim “credible fear” to get asylum, according to documents obtained by Judicial Watch from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

The operation was part of a scam conducted by an immigrant rights organization called the National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NITA), which in recent years has coordinated demonstrations along the Southwest border in Texas and Arizona. In mid-2014 the group orchestrated a racket seeking to bring 250 illegal aliens into the U.S. through the Otay Mesa Port of Entry in San Diego, California. To assure the migrants were allowed to stay in the U.S., the group had them falsely claim that they had a “credible fear” of returning to their native country. Foreigners can claim asylum under five categories, based on fear of persecution over race, religion, nationality, political opinions or membership in a specific social group

In this particular case, the DHS agency charged with guarding the border—Customs and Border Protection (CBP)—actually admits knowing about the ploy in advance but allows the illegal aliens to stay anyways. Here’s an excerpt from the records obtained by JW through the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA): “BACKGROUND: The National Immigrant Youth Alliance (NITA) activists have coordinated previous demonstrations along the Southwest Border (Laredo, Texas and Nogales, Arizona). During this iteration, NIYA seek to bring 250 people to the Otay Mesa Port of Entry where they will request entry to the U.S. Previous CBP reporting of these events indicate the individuals applying for entry will have no entitlements to enter, pass through or remain in the United States and will summarily claim Credible Fear (CF).”

This is downright outrageous and has been going on for years, though we’ve never seen written evidence that the feds were complicit in a specific “credible fear” scam. In 2013 JW wrote about a San Diego news report that said droves of illegal aliens were flooding the Otay crossing claiming “credible fear” of Mexican drug cartels. In just one day 199 migrants had entered through Otay, the story revealed. The piece quoted a Border Patrol agent saying this: “They are being told if they come across, when they come up to the border and they say certain words, they will be allowed into the country.”

Credible fear asylum in the U.S. has become so popular that illegal aliens are hearing about it on Facebook and federal immigration authorities are overwhelmed with applications. In the last few years the number of foreigners, including large numbers from terrorist countries, asserting credible fear to gain asylum in this country has skyrocketed. During congressional testimony a few years ago, the heads of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and CBP confirmed that the percentage of individuals expressing a fear to remain in the U.S. has risen tremendously in the last few years.

The figures are incredibly alarming. In the last five years the number of “credible fear” asylum applications made at the border has increased sevenfold, from less than 5,000 to more than 36,000, a former Department of Justice (DOJ) and federal immigration official told Congress during a hearing earlier this year. Now a law professor at a prominent university, the official told lawmakers that statistics from USCIS Asylum Division show an approval rate of 92% for credible fear claims before the 2014 border surge. “Unfortunately the high approval rate for credible fear claims, and the resulting backlog in the immigration court system, have meant that in practice ‘credible fear’ has served to screen into the United States undocumented aliens wishing to make asylum claims,” the professor, Jan C. Ting told Congress. “That explains why many illegal border crossers don’t run from the U.S. Border Patrol, but instead seek them out to make asylum claims subject only to the low threshold of credible fear.”

Today, the backlog of credible fear cases pending in federal immigration courts is an astounding 450,000, according to a news report published this month. This could create huge national security risks because often asylum seekers are released from custody to await a court hearing. Just last week eight Syrian refugees turned themselves into U.S. immigration authorities along the U.S.-Mexico border. They are asking for asylum because they fear returning to their war-torn, terrorist-infested nation, but U.S. authorities have no reliable way to vet them.

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