Congress Must Return to Washington Immediately to Address Migrant Caravan
(October 24, 2018, Washington, D.C.) — President Trump must urge lawmakers to return from the campaign trail and address the glaring loopholes in our asylum and immigration laws that are being used to promote an organized assault on our nation’s border. Ignoring the current crisis to focus on reelection would amount to a complete abrogation of their duty to secure our borders and a huge breach of the public trust.
The “caravan” of an estimated 7,000 Central American migrants has now crossed into Mexico with the declared intention of reaching the U.S. border where the migrants intend to seek political asylum. The impetus for this latest caravan is not a humanitarian crisis in Central America, but rather, as accurately described by the Wall Street Journal, an organized stunt by political agitators who are intent on using migration as “a political weapon to foment border chaos.”
“This assault on the sovereignty of the United States demands the immediate attention of Congress,” declared Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR). “This staged caravan of migrants meets the definition of an invasion of our nation, even if the organizers’ foot soldiers are unarmed.”
Caravan organizers and participants are openly seeking to take advantage of loopholes in our policies that allow people to seek asylum even when there is no prima facie evidence of political persecution, and court settlements that, for all practical purposes, allow adults to use children as get out of jail free cards.
“Quite frankly, Congress has not done its job. Congress has known for a long time that people have been lodging specious asylum claims for the expressed purpose of gaining entry to the United States. Congress is well aware that judicial limits on the amount of time minors may be detained is an engraved invitation for people to arrive at the border with children in tow. Congress can fix these loopholes anytime they are prepared to uphold their constitutional responsibilities, and with a looming crisis at the border it is time to come back to the Capitol and act,” said Stein.
The United States has no humanitarian obligation to allow its asylum and immigration laws to be abused by those seeking to use migration as political weapon:
- The vast majority of caravan participants, by their own admission, indicate that they are heading to the United States for economic, not political reasons.
- The Mexican government has offered the migrants the opportunity to seek political asylum in their country, but their offers have been largely refused by participants.
- Political organizers on both sides of the border are openly coaching migrants about what they need to say to establish a “credible fear” claim and gain their release into the United States.
“If the political operatives behind this caravan succeed, it will quickly be followed by more and larger migrant caravans. Even construction of a border wall – which could take years to complete – would be ineffective in preventing these organized incursions so long as our asylum and immigration laws can be so easily abused,” Stein concluded.
Contact: Matthew Tragesser, 202-328-7004, or firstname.lastname@example.org