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Change elites to end LA asylum policy suffering

While some attention has come to the extra burdens to Louisiana that the policy of Pres. Barack Obama regarding unaccompanied illegal alien minors has spawned, little has surfaced about the costs imposed by the abuse of the asylum system that his administration and its supporters have encouraged.

Under international convention to which it is a signatory America must entertain requests for asylum based upon persecution or fear of persecution on grounds of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group, or political opinion, either by a foreign government or private entities that the government too carelessly allows to persecute people on these bases. A procedure must be followed to ensure the claim is entertained and adjudicated.

The U.S. famously has had very welcoming standards for such individuals, including a standard known as “credible fear” that means that upon application – which is as simple as turning up at a border and announcing a request for asylum – the seeker will be allowed into the U.S. and is supposed to be under some form of detention until adjudication to determine whether the “well-founded fear” of persecution test necessary under the law to grant asylum can be determined. In the past, it was not unusual for such determinations to be made within weeks of the request being made, with many seekers housed in detention facilities.

But in the last few years, a series of executive branch and judicial decisions have abrogated detention for most and enlarged discretion for what qualifies as “credible fear.” Now, basically ignoring the law, the federal government engages in “catch and release,” where seekers are relocated at government expense to an agent that promises to house them. The Obama Administration also has mostly scrapped protocols to protect against fraudulent applications, allowing more such individuals to remain in the country for a longer period of time, and judicial fiat has expanded what qualifies and removed some checks, such as use of criminal histories, that make it easier for, respectively, persons not genuinely facing persecution and dangerous individuals to apply for asylum and even receive permanent residence status.

Foreigners have noticed the relaxed standards, leading to a tripling of “credible fear” claims in just the past couple of years and they have increased sevenfold in just seven years. This has started to overwhelm the system in certain jurisdictions, particularly Louisiana where now dockets for review are estimated to be full well over a year in advance. Meanwhile, such individuals are not allowed to work legally anywhere from 6-18 months and if they have children the states and local school districts are required to shell out taxpayer dollars to educate these minors. And the simple fact is, most of these recent arrivals, many of whom are fleeing crime and poverty, should not qualify because these and other non-political justifications are not legally-acceptable reasons to be granted asylum. Even when they are rejected, in recent years 40-50 percent ordered deported defied such orders and vanished into the underground – creating additional fiscal strains on government by their use of government services without (with the exception of buying goods and services) paying taxes.

But creating needless extra tax burdens on all of national, state, and local citizens is not the most problematic aspect of the recent relaxation of standards and procedures. These encourage those individuals in engaged in criminal enterprises, often drug-related, to gain a foothold in the U.S., perhaps for years, and thereby allow them to expand their cartels’ violent operations. Worst of all, terrorists can do the same.

Yet none of this appears to concern Obama or Democrats, because whatever costs they may admit these policies have they seem to have a greater goal in mind: to get as many illegal aliens into the country as possible and have them stay as long as possible in order to maximize the number that can be declared legal residents, if not citizens, through amnesty. The political strategy seeks to mimic the electoral impact of the association that many blacks made 50 years ago: a Democrat in the White House helped sweep away disenfranchisement and civil rights violations, so, no matter what Democrat policies have done for them since, they faithfully vote for Democrats. Eventually getting illegal aliens to citizenship Democrats believe will create disproportionately among these beneficiaries loyalty to Democrat candidates for a generation to come. As long as they remain in power, there's little hope for anything different in asylum policy.

Thus, federal policy changes such as downsizing if not eliminating “catch and release,” stricter application of the “credible fear” standard, and circumscribing judicial activism that expands eligibility to turn asylum requests into permanent residence will happen only by changing the elites that control such policy – meaning this fall through the ballot box putting into office U.S. House and Senate candidates committed to these reforms (usually Republicans, but not just any or all Republicans), and repeating this in 2016 and including the presidency. Failure to do so not only threatens government taking more of what people earn to pay for ineffective asylum policies, but perhaps through criminal violence and terrorist activities threatens their very liberty and lives.

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