The Magic Words: Credible Fear

by Phyllis Schlafly

January 1, 2014

Those who seek to enter the United States illegally are resourceful in selecting their route. They climb over fences, scramble through underground tunnels, swim through waterways, and claw their way through the heat of the Arizona desert.

Now, some illegals have learned two magic words that let them in legally. They can walk up to a border agent and say: “credible fear.”

These may be the only words they can speak in English, but they are sufficient to unlock the gates of our borders. Credible fear applications have increased from 5,000 to more than 36,000, with the biggest numbers coming from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala.

If a credible fear application passes an initial screening interview, the applicant is allowed to live and work in the U.S. until his case is resolved. That might take years.

The House Judiciary Committee recently held a hearing to examine reports that the asylum system is being exploited by drug traffickers. Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT) accused some asylum seekers of “gaming the system”; they “get free education, free healthcare.”

Such a loose system invites fraud. Last year in New York, 26 people including six attorneys were indicted on charges that they manufactured asylum claims and coached Chinese clients on how to lie to immigration officials. In 2012, more than 10,000 people from China were granted asylum.

The House Judiciary Committee discovered a woman in the U.S. on an asylum claim who three months later was caught at a Border Patrol checkpoint with more than $1 million worth of cocaine. According to Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), “dangerous criminals are gaming the system by claiming they have a ‘credible fear’ of persecution when often they’ve been the perpetrators of violence themselves.”

According to Rep. Goodlatte, the law requires most people claiming “credible fear” to be put in mandatory detention until their case is resolved. But, surprise, surprise, the Obama Administration argues that they should be released rather than detained unless there is a demonstrable danger to the community.

Among the 70,000 Iraqis admitted to the U.S. as war refugees were several dozen suspected terrorist bomb-makers, including some believed to have targeted U.S. troops, according to the FBI agents investigating the roadside bombs recovered from Iraq and Afghanistan. An Iraqi named Waad Ramadan Alwan, who claimed to be a refugee, was allowed to settle in Bowling Green, Kentucky, where he moved into public housing and collected public assistance handouts.

The FBI secretly taped Alwan, which recorded him bragging that he had built a dozen bombs in Iraq and used sniper rifles to target American soldiers near Baghdad. Bowling Green residents are asking why this criminal was allowed to move to their town.

The FBI now admits that dozens of terrorist bomb-makers were allowed to move to the U.S. as war refugees. Don’t forget the Boston Marathon Bombers who were admitted to the U.S. using the asylum racket and then received welfare handouts.

Asylum requests from Mexico soared to 36,000 in fiscal 2013, and 2,000 recent applicants carried a bleeding-heart letter describing their alleged need for asylum. A local official named C. Ramon Contreras Orozco has been busy providing these letters, which have been copied, resold or forged for a going rate of $75 each.

The U.S. Border Patrol reported a “surge of unaccompanied minors coming across our border,” some used by drug smugglers. Border statistics released this December show that 24,668 “unaccompanied alien children” were housed in federally funded U.S. care centers last year, double the 2012 number, and quadruple the number in previous years.

Our Border Patrol arrested a 12-year-old boy illegally smuggling 80 pounds of marijuana on his back from Mexico into Texas. Rep. Steve King (R-IA) commented that some of the so-called Dreamers, portrayed as having been innocently brought into the U.S. as children by their parents, actually were “hauling 75 pounds of marijuana across the desert.”

Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen of Texas accused the Department of Homeland Security of hand-delivering children smuggled into the U.S. to their illegal alien parents. The judge said that Customs and Border Protection agents helped to locate and deliver the kids to their parents, and U.S. taxpayers paid the bill for flights to multiple locations to find the parents.

One of those children was delivered to the person who paid the smuggler. The judge accused the government of “completing the criminal mission” of human traffickers “who are violating the border security of the United States” and assisting a “criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals.”

Judge Hanen called the Administration’s behavior “dangerous and unconscionable” and said that “DHS should cease telling the citizens of the United States that it is enforcing our border security laws because it is clearly not. Even worse, it is helping those who violate these laws.”

Further Reading: Border Security & Immigration