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The news coverage of the massive increase of illegal aliens attempting to gain asylum in the U.S. using a “credible fear” claim failed to report the most likely cause of the spike in asylum seekers.

That cause could very well be Immigration and Customs Enforcement guidelines enacted in 2010 that eased the way for such “credible fear” asylum seekers – illegal aliens who claim to fear persecution from drug cartels.

The same year the guidelines were implemented, the number of asylum seekers utilizing the “credible fear” tactic increased exponentially.

In December 2009, ICE Assistant Secretary John Morton announced his agency would “generally release from detention arriving asylum seekers who have a credible fear of persecution or torture if certain criteria are met.”

Morton implemented new streamline procedures for asylum seekers that went into effect Jan. 4, 2010.

The revised rules permit temporary release from detention pending an ICE hearing for illegal aliens who “have a credible fear of persecution or torture, and have no additional factors that weigh against their release.”

The new guidelines further mandate all asylum seekers should automatically be considered for parole. This marked a major departure from the previous rules that required an illegal alien to request parole in writing.

Morton’s new “credible fear” rules were hyped at the time by immigration advocacy organizations as a victory for immigration reform.

Mary Meg McCarthy, executive director of the National Immigrant Justice Center, called the guidelines a “significant step toward ending the unnecessary detention of asylum seekers.”

The same year the guidelines were implemented there was a spike in “credible fear” asylum seekers.

In 2009, ICE received 5,369 such requests, reported the AP.

The numbers began increasing in 2010, with the number of Mexicans seeking asylum in the United States nearly doubling the following year.

This year, there were 19,119 asylum requests through May, with ICE anticipating more than 28,600 by the end of the fiscal year.

The current numbers are so high, there were reports of nearly 200 people claiming a “credible fear” of drug cartels in a single day at the Otay Mesa crossing south of San Diego, according to KSAZ-TV in Phoenix.

Pete Nunez, former U.S. Attorney and immigration expert says, told the station the tactic “will swamp the system.”

“It’s a huge loophole,” Nunez said.

Yesterday, Breitbart News reported the Homeland Security Department updated its website June 18 with instructions on how to claim a “credible fear” of persecution.

With additional research by Brenda J. Elliott.

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