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Judicial Watch, Inc. is a conservative, non-partisan educational foundation, which promotes transparency, accountability and integrity in government, politics and the law.

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Corruption Chronicles

Illegal Aliens Hear of U.S. “Credible Fear” Asylum on Facebook

As if Obama’s backdoor amnesty wasn’t bad enough, the administration is also quietly granting thousands of illegal immigrants “asylum” when they claim to have a “credible fear” of returning to their native country.

Officially foreigners can seek asylum under five categories, based on fear of persecution over race, religion, nationality, political opinions or membership in a particular social group. A chunk of the illegal aliens getting asylum hearings are entering the U.S. through Mexico, but they come from as far away as Africa and Asia, according to Homeland Security officials cited in a mainstream newspaper report.

Last year 27,546 migrants made credible fear claims after entering the U.S. illegally compared to 10,730 the previous year. In 2008 only 3,273 illegal aliens claimed fear to get asylum, according to federal data cited in the story. If this pattern continues, the number will continue to rise steadily through President Obama’s second term, likely making this yet another form of stealth amnesty.  

Clearly, word has spread among illegal border crossers that claiming to have a fear of returning home is a good way to avoid deportation. One veteran immigration lawyer in Texas says “it’s like the magic word. Say it and the government has to give you a credible-fear hearing.” Immigration judges eventually reject most of the asylum petitions, but many of the illegal aliens are freed on bail and use the lengthy process to vanish in the U.S.

Here is one of the cases featured in the story; a 21-year-old Honduran man, who entered the U.S. illegally through Mexico, was granted an asylum hearing after claiming that returning to Honduras would be a mortal risk because he witnessed a double homicide and feared the killers would target him. Border Patrol agents had spotted the illegal alien floating across the Rio Grande in an inflatable raft and he should have been immediately deported.

Instead federal authorities determined that he had a “credible fear” case, which allowed him to remain in the U.S. for asylum proceedings, which often take months. So, how did this particular illegal alien hear about the asylum procedures? He says he learned about it on Facebook while he still lived in Honduras and from the U.S. government’s immigration website.

Another illegal border crosser, a 19-year-old man from Ecuador, heard about the credible fear line while he was in federal custody. He got busted by Border Patrol officers a few minutes after crossing into the U.S. through Mexico and was sent to a detention facility. He requested a credible fear interview after hearing about it from cellmates and claimed his father accused him of breaking up his marriage and therefore wanted to kill him. Authorities released the Ecuadorean and allowed him to move in with an aunt in New York while he waits for further hearings.

In yet another unbelievable case cited in the news story, a 42-year-old man from Bangladesh flew to South America and made it to the Texas border with a Mexican smuggler. Authorities are allowing him to live in a halfway house while he waits for his asylum hearings. His credible fear claim is that he was persecuted for being a member of a political party that lost national elections.



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