Monday, November 26, 2018

Caravan Asylum Information/Rant

I am getting so tired of listening to people talk about the caravaners as if they are illegals. They are not. It is legal to ask for asylum and you have to be at the border or in the USA to ask for it. You can't ask for USA asylum while you are in Mexico if you are fleeing drug gangs in Honduras. What a lot of people do not realize is this: If you enter the USA illegally and get stopped you are still legally allowed to ask for asylum. Yes, you are LEGALLY allowed to ask for asylum in the USA even if they catch you in Pennsylvania! You will then be given a "credible fear" interview, during which an agent for the US government will decide if you sound like you have a credible and justifiable reason for asking for asylum. If you do, you are normally given a court date and released to one of the Catholic, Presbyterian or Lutheran charity groups who work the US/Mexican border areas (along with some non-denominational immigrant groups), or to a family member if you have one in the USA.
Then you show up at your court date and a specialized immigrant judge decides whether you get to stay in the USA permanently or get deported. People like Trump say that no one goes to those court dates but the data shows that more than 95 percent do show up at court for their final hearing. And about 10 percent are given asylum; the rest are returned to their homeland. That is standard operating procedure, and it's worked well for a long time.
Introducing the fear element is the new tactic and it should have no place in the discussion at all. Hell, if 50,000 people applied for asylum tomorrow, only 5,000 would wind up with it (cases are generally decided in a couple of months), which would come to about 100 refugee asylum cases per state. Or maybe 1 person for every 500--1,000 towns. Not really scary now, is it?
And oh, those bad guys that Trump talks about? They wouldn't stand a chance of making it through the initial "credible fear" interview with agents trained to interview asylum seekers. And if you don't make it through that, you are immediately deported. If you return after that? You get five years in jail, if you have no criminal record in the USA. If you have a criminal record in the USA and get deported and return, you face 20 years in federal lockup. It's really all been figured out and it's pretty easy peasy.
And yes, I've got room for a decent family in my huge metal garage, electricity and all. And I'll feed them well too.

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