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senate Bill S. 2292

Should Asylum Seekers Establish a Credible Fear of Persecution & Apply for Asylum in a Safe Third Country Before Admission to the U.S.?

Argument in favor

The asylum system is being abused by people who illegally enter the U.S. then file frivolous asylum claims after they’re apprehended to prevent their deportation. Moreover, the volume of asylum claims to process is overwhelming immigration courts. Asylum seekers should require to file their claim in a safe third country they pass through en route to America to allow for proper vetting and deter people from making a dangerous attempt to enter the U.S. illegally.

Gopin2020's Opinion
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10/04/2019
I support my senators bill and stand with him in this. This should have been decades ago. I’m tired of the United States being used and ripped off like a free piggy bank. #MAGA
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Sean's Opinion
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10/04/2019
It’s a privilege to come here, not a right. Seek safety and then APPLY to come here.
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Matthew's Opinion
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10/04/2019
In accordance with international law it is unlawful to go “country” shopping when asking for asylum. Otherwise you’ll just go to the country with the best welfare system.
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Argument opposed

The number of false asylum applications is small, and the increase in asylum seekers in recent years is directly attributable to crises in Central America and around the globe. Rather than turning away asylum seekers, the U.S. should seek to help those who have credible fears of returning home to violence and worse regardless of whether they enter the country illegally before making their asylum claim. Asylum-seekers shouldn’t be required to apply for asylum in a safe third country they pass through on their way to the U.S.

Loretta's Opinion
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10/04/2019
What has become of our great nation? We can’t welcome asylum seekers and we can’t call a fool , inept dishonest, racist, obviously guilty of selling his country down the river and selling our presidency to the highest bidder????Why aren’t these Replublicans, on the side of our constitution and not this sham of a President?????
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10/04/2019
We must do better for refugees. These are people who are fleeing dangerous conditions. We must be more humane.
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jimK's Opinion
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10/05/2019
No. Pass comprehensive immigration laws which address the so called immigration problem. Piecemeal legislation can be abused, on both ‘sides’ of the immigration issue. I do not trust broad statements of ‘credible fear of persecution’ to be fairly applied. Nor do I trust the third country embassy process to be equitable. Remember, this administration argued that both Mexico and Canada were eminent threats to our National security in order to justify punitive tariffs to force them into a ‘new’ trade agreements, with virtually no actual changes, only so trump could could put his name on it. I do not trust judgement calls by officials who can be manipulated by politicians.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The house has not voted
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on the Judiciary
    IntroducedJuly 25th, 2019

What is Senate Bill S. 2292?

This bill, the Asylum Abuse Reduction Act, would require asylum officers at U.S. embassies and consulates to conduct credible fear screenings before admitting unauthorized immigrants entering from Canada or Mexico who are seeking asylum in America. Under this process, immigration officers wouldn’t be able to admit asylum seekers into the U.S., and would instead instruct them to schedule an asylum hearing with the most convenient U.S. embassy in Canada or Mexico. During these hearings, asylum officers would conduct in-person interviews to determine whether the claimant has a credible fear of persecution in their home country. Additionally, asylum seekers would be required to seek asylum in a different country other than their own and be rejected before claiming asylum in the U.S. (known as the “safe third country rule”).

Unauthorized immigrants could be granted asylum if they were persecuted in their country of origin on account of their race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion; or would be subject to torture if they returned to their country of origin. Failure to show up for immigration court would result in a criminal bench warrant for an unauthorized immigrant’s arrest.

This bill would also make the Secretary of Homeland Security (DHS Secretary) responsible for establishing an alternatives to detention pilot program. Under such a program, unauthorized immigrants could be released into the supervision of qualified organizations with federal government contracts to facilitate their compliance with all stages of their immigration proceedings. Unauthorized immigrants could only participate in the pilot program if they:

  • Certify that they will comply with all stages of the immigration proceedings, including removal, if ordered;
  • Acknowledge that they are only entitled to a single appeal of an immigration judge’s decision; and
  • Sign a privacy waiver.

Unauthorized immigrants who fail to comply with the requirements of the pilot program could be subject to arrest, detention, and expedited removal proceedings.

The DHS Secretary, in consultation with the Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), would be responsible for developing performance metrics for organizations that run pilot programs. These metrics would include rates of absconsion, arrest, completion of immigration cases, and any other metrics that the Secretary determines measure compliance with performance standards. If an organization running a pilot program failed to comply with performance standards, the DHS Secretary could require it to return funds paid to it during the noncompliance period, terminate its contract, or impose any other penalty authorized by the contract.

The DHS Secretary would submit a report to the House & Senate judiciary & homeland security committees on the implementation of the alternatives to detention pilot program.

Finally, this bill would codify the Trump administration’s Third Country Asylum Rule. To this end, it would prohibit migrants from claiming asylum unless they have applied for protection from persecution or torture in at least one country outside the alien’s country of citizenship and was denied asylum by that country. There would be an exception for migrants that are victims of human trafficking.

Impact

U.S. asylum officers; Department of Homeland Security; U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement; Committee on the Judiciary of the Senate; Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate; Committee on the Judiciary of the House of Representatives; Committee on Homeland Security of the House of Representatives; Secretary of Homeland Security; and Director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

Cost of Senate Bill S. 2292

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthSen. James Inhofe (R-OK) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to complement the president’s plan to build a wall by addressing immigration loopholes to strengthen the asylum process’ integrity and ensure it is only used by individuals who are genuinely seeking asylum:

“The asylum process should be for those who truly need it—not individuals using it after they are caught illegally crossing the border in an attempt to avoid deportation. That’s why I’m reintroducing my Asylum Abuse Reduction Act. By reforming our asylum process, we can minimize false asylum claims, ease the backlog on our immigration courts and end ‘catch and release’—all while improving the process for those who truly need it. The border is in a serious crisis. President Trump gets that—he really does—and he is changing it. I am proud of the administration’s continued work to build the wall, increase support for ICE and Customs and Border Protection agents and eliminate sanctuary cities. With the addition of the Asylum Abuse Reduction Act, we can make real reform to our broken immigration system and secure the southern border.”

Original cosponsor Sen. Mike Rounds (R-SD) adds

“Our immigration system is flawed and too many individuals are manipulating our generous asylum laws to illegally enter the U.S. Asylum is meant to provide a safe haven for individuals fleeing persecution. It should be a last resort for those sincerely fearing for their lives – not be used as a free ticket into the United States for those who would simply prefer to live in our country. Our bill would strengthen our asylum laws so those who truly do need to come to us for safety can do so. Our immigration system is in need of long-term reforms to strengthen border security and encourage migrants to pursue legal immigration, which I’ll continue to work toward. In the meantime, our legislation takes a step toward reducing the number of individuals who falsely claim asylum to illegally enter the country.”

Andrew Arthur, a former immigration judge and current fellow at the Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates for lower levels of immigration, is skeptical about the validity of many credible fear claims, arguing that “credible fear” has become an overly broad legal “catchall for truly inventive lawyers.” Arthur praises efforts to tighten the asylum application process, saying, “One, it is going to streamline the system. Two, it's going to cut down on the number of claims that are inevitably going to be found to be invalid."

The Trump administration asserts that asylum policies are currently broken and subject to “rampant abuse and fraud.” President Trump has made tighter controls of the asylum process and elevating the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews part of his list of immigration principles and policies

In an October 2017 speech at the Department of Justice, then-Attorney General Jeff Sessions said too many immigrants were taking advantage of the rules and urged Congress to pass legislation to make it harder for asylum petitions to be granted. AG Sessions called the current policy wherein unauthorized immigrants whom federal officials determine to have a “credible fear” of returning to their home countries are released before immigration proceeding hearings a “loophole” in the law. AG Sessions advocated for imposing and enforcing penalties for “baseless” asylum applications, elevating the threshold standard of proof in credible fear interviews, and expanding the ability to return asylum seekers to safe third countries. Further, Sessions called many people’s credible fear claims simply a “ruse to enter the country illegally.”

Lindsay M. Harris, an assistant professor of law and co-director of the Immigration and Human Rights Clinic at the University of the District of Columbia, David A. Clarke School of Law, argues that the increase in asylum claims is a natural result of the increase in refugees on a global level, as well as the proximity of the U.S. to Central America, where gang violence and poverty have pushed thousands out in recent years:

“Indeed, there has certainly been an increase in asylum claims — but this corresponds with the increase in refugees around the world. One of the humanitarian crises producing refugees happens to be south of our border, and this accounts for the exponential increase in asylum claims and individuals seeking protection in the U.S. through the credible fear system, rather than a sudden increase in fraudulent claims… [The increase in people seeking asylum is] very much based on the humanitarian crisis in Central America.”

Harris counters Sessions’ claim that individuals who never show up to their immigration hearings, or even file an asylum application after arriving in the U.S., do so because their claims lack merit, or their claims of fear were ruses to enter the U.S. illegally. Instead, Harris says, the problem is lack of clarity about the asylum application process. According to Harris, asylum seekers are released with “very little orientation” of what’s expected next, and many think articulating their case to asylum officers, and others think they have already been granted asylum upon their release.

Geoffrey A. Hoffman, director of the University of Houston Law Centers Immigration Clinic, sums up the issue: “The issue of fraud in individual cases should not overshadow the reality which is that grants of asylum are extremely low, especially for applicants who are not represented by counsel.”

Human Rights First, a group that provides pro bono legal assistance to refugees, calls the characterization of asylum seekers as “threats and frauds” baseless. The organization’s senior director, Eleanor Acer, says, “these individuals are not criminals. They are mothers, teenagers, and children desperate to escape violence and persecution.” Jeremy McKinney, an immigration lawyer in North Carolina and secretary of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, adds that asylum-seekers are “amongst the most vulnerable people in our society,” and that “to have their rights curtailed so that the system moves faster I think should be considered a moral outrage.”

This legislation has four Republican Senate cosponsors in the 116th Congress. Its House companion, sponsored by Rep. Kevin Hern (R-OK), has one cosponsor, Rep. Daniel Meuser (R-PA). Last Congress, this legislation didn’t have any cosponsors and didn’t receive a committee vote.


Of NoteFrom 2014 to 2016, the U.S. saw a 234% increase in asylum applications, generating a backlog in immigration courts. Currently, unauthorized migrants who cross the border and claim asylum are released pending credible fear screenings and other legal procedures — but they often fail to show up for proceedings, never completing the asylum process. In 2017, DHS reported that over 40,000 unauthorized immigrants never appeared for their court proceedings. At present, when asylum applicants fail to show up for court, their information is not entered into police databases.

In FY2016, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) decided on nearly 93,000 credible fear cases, establishing fear in about 78% of cases. For comparison, the agency reviewed over 5,000 cases in fiscal year 2009.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Brad Greeff)

AKA

Asylum Abuse Reduction Act

Official Title

A bill to require asylum officers to conduct credible fear screenings before admitting aliens seeking asylum into the United States, to direct the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish an alternatives to detention pilot program, and to clarify that aliens transiting through third countries on the way to the United States are ineligible for asylum, and for other purposes.

    I support my senators bill and stand with him in this. This should have been decades ago. I’m tired of the United States being used and ripped off like a free piggy bank. #MAGA
    Like (34)
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    What has become of our great nation? We can’t welcome asylum seekers and we can’t call a fool , inept dishonest, racist, obviously guilty of selling his country down the river and selling our presidency to the highest bidder????Why aren’t these Replublicans, on the side of our constitution and not this sham of a President?????
    Like (62)
    Follow
    Share
    We must do better for refugees. These are people who are fleeing dangerous conditions. We must be more humane.
    Like (47)
    Follow
    Share
    No. Pass comprehensive immigration laws which address the so called immigration problem. Piecemeal legislation can be abused, on both ‘sides’ of the immigration issue. I do not trust broad statements of ‘credible fear of persecution’ to be fairly applied. Nor do I trust the third country embassy process to be equitable. Remember, this administration argued that both Mexico and Canada were eminent threats to our National security in order to justify punitive tariffs to force them into a ‘new’ trade agreements, with virtually no actual changes, only so trump could could put his name on it. I do not trust judgement calls by officials who can be manipulated by politicians.
    Like (40)
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    We don’t have “safe third country” agreements with ANY country but Canada. Why would any refugee pass up Canada? I wouldn’t pass up Canada. Dumb useless legislation.
    Like (29)
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    Wow, when did the State Department stop analyzing the threats in the rest of the world? I understand that my Republican Party no longer looks to the knowledgeable and experienced to develop laws and regulations; they look to conspiracy theorists and the entitled. The experts understand that these people are not coming to the U S for an extended vacation. These people are are not coming to the U S because they do not expect to work hard. These people are coming to the U S because they want an opportunity to live in peace and to provide and protect their families. Sounds like “give me your tired and your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free.” Damn it, where is Ronald Reagan and Tip O’ Neill when we need them?
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    Why impeach: Using the power of the presidency to withhold aide to one of the worst humanitarian crisis on the planet in exchange for political favors in order to sway the 20/20 election. Threatened the life of the trump appointed Republican whistle blower. Mr. America first is sendin troops to Saudi Arabia in support of a murdering dictator who spends millions at his hotels and resorts. Corey Lewandowski testified to congress that trump ordered him to obstruct justice. Blocking information that pertains to the safety of our country from reaching congress. Has been threatening NOAA, a federal agency, with punishment if they do not disavow the truth and side with his lies. Invited the Taliban to Camp David the week of 9/11. #PussyAssBitch He’s doctoring weather maps to try and prove he’s not an idiot. Has stayed at trump properties 293 days in 3 years, that’s our tax dollars going directly into his pocket. Took money from military daycares to pay for a wall that won’t work and no one wants. The Vice President and the Attorney General are both spending tax payer dollars on trump hotels, lining his pockets and currying his favor. Privately instructed aides to skirt laws and regulations to get the wall built faster — and told them he will pardon them if necessary. Pressuring a government agency to give a contract for his wall to a company whose chief executive is a donor to one of his top GOP allies in Congress. Took hundreds of millions from 127 different projects (FEMA being one of those) for his wall. Thinks nuking a hurricane is an idea. Pushing to host the next G-7 at one of his own resorts. Taunted Iran by tweeting a classified image of an Iranian rocket that had exploded, thereby potentially compromising U.S. intelligence capabilities. His own company would save millions from the low interest rates he is demanding. Was going to give you tax cuts through your paychecks but decided not to. Destroying the economy with HIS trade war. We will soon average a 1.2 trillion deficit. He is repeating NRA talking points on background checks so expect no action taken regardless of the fact there has been 27 arrested over threats to commit mass attacks since El Paso( NOT TOLEDO). Made fun of republicans being afraid of the NRA and then caved after a 30 minute phone conversation with them. Bragged about indefinite child detention because it brings families together. Refusing flue shots, that protect us all(google influenza pandemic), to immigrant children. Attacking fellow congresswomen in really disgusting ways and making anti-Semitic remarks about Jews calling them disloyal. Thinks he’s the chosen one based on a conspiracy theory web sight. Impeachment: Obstruction of Justice. Profiting from the Presidency. Collusion - They had a meeting & lied about it. Advocating political & police violence. Abuse of power. Engaging in reckless behavior. Persecuting political opponents. Attacking the free press. Violating immigrants Right to Due Process. Violating campaign finance laws. Racist: Speaks directly to and often tweeting straight from white supremacists. Calls them very fine people. Told fellow congresswomen to go back where they came from. Called them shit hole countries. Called them murderers and rapists. Calls her Pocahontas. Took out full page adds calling for the death of five innocent black kids in New York, 1989. Literally has said in an interview he has Hitlers speeches, My New Order in his nightstand. Our Money: Spent campaign finance money on hush payments to silence a porn star he had an affair with in order to hide it from the voters. Has spent over $100 million of our tax dollars playing golf at his own golf courses. Has never divested from companies and advertises and profits off the White House. Was going to cut Medicaid and Medicare funding to pay for the tax cuts he gave to the rich. Is actively destroying farmers lives with his trade wars that we all know only hurts our pockets not Chinas. Has made the lives of every truck driver across America as well as our own, more dangerous by removing safety regulations that only benefits the pockets of the CEOs of those companies. Has removed any and all protections we had in place from work safety, environment, women’s rights, LGBTQ rights and gives that power back to the CEOs, oil companies, men and old white men. Saudi funded lobbyist rented 500 rooms at a trump hotel he never divested from right after he became president. Wonder why? Sexual Predator: Accused by more than 20 women of molestation and rape. Bragged about said molestation on tape. Has cheated on all three wives (see above). Has made sexual remarks on camera about his daughter. Belittles and bully’s strong women. Not even sure he’s aware he has two daughters. Idiot: Has allowed North Korea to grow there nuclear weapons program. Took the side of Putin over America’s own security agencies on the national stage. Lacks the intelligence and facts needed to communicate on a global level much less national one. Makes policy decisions based on FOX media. Lies when speaks. Doesn’t believe in science and quite often displays his ignorance of it. Russia: Lied about meetings with Russians. Lied about a trump tower Moscow. Personal attorney Michael Cohen (same guy who broke campaign finance laws under trumps direction) had contacts with russian officials. National Security aide Flynn resigned over Russian contacts. Jeff Sessions recused himself because of Russian contacts. Manafort resigned because of Russian contacts. Campaign foreign policy adviser Papadopoulos met with Russians then bragged about it to Australians who then turned that info over to our FBI. Sixteen campaign officials had contacts with Russia and at least nine others new about it. Russian mobster lived in trump tower. trump casino was flagged 106 times for lax money laundering standards and same Russian frequently stayed at trump casino. Has been selling real estate to Russians for years. It really is surprising how many connections to Russians this man has. Rick Scott, Marco Rubio, Bill Posey You are my representatives. OLC policy: The indictment or criminal prosecution of a sitting President would unconstitutionally undermine the capacity of the executive branch to perform its constitutionally assigned functions. It’s time to do your job. You swore an oath to this country, it’s people and me to uphold the constitution. The president has never upheld that oath. How do you want to be remembered?
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    Stop this hateful stupid crap and let’s be Americans again. Don’t put kids in prison and stop abusing families. I want to see prosecution of anyone responsible for the abuse of people seeking asylum.
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    Shame on you, more rules to criminalize asylum seekers
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    It’s a privilege to come here, not a right. Seek safety and then APPLY to come here.
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    What fear isn’t credible? Jesus. Sounds like a way to deny all asylum.
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    In accordance with international law it is unlawful to go “country” shopping when asking for asylum. Otherwise you’ll just go to the country with the best welfare system.
    Like (14)
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    This bill is ludicrous. When a person is fleeing violence and possible death, the last thing they should do is paperwork in a country that they don't feel safe in. I thought Republicans tried to emulate Christ...
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    No country except ours just lets anyone in. This is insane. Those opposed to this will be the ones complaining the loudest after the turmoil ensues as a result of these wide open borders.
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    IMPEACH TRUMP
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    They should and then they can be Verified and no Criminals or people trying to sell children for sex trade with liberal sickos can get in.
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    The laws of asylum state the person must be in the country to request it-making people stay in a country no safer than the one they are fleeing is inhumane
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    This is what’s called The Myth of the Perfect Immigrant. Our immigration policy does not need to be written out of ignorance, fear, or suspicion.
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    Pure xenophobia. The vast majority of asylum seekers are totally valid. How scared would YOU have to be to leave your home, family, country, and walk hundreds of miles??
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    This is such a crock of crap! No one is going to leave their country, their culture, their language, their friends, their family and their home, often walking carrying all their belongings & children on a freaking whim! These migrants are coming to our country as they are in fear for their lives. Unstable governments, which you can trace back to US intervention, caused this migration. If you want to fix the numbers coming our way, here you go : 1. Don’t demonize the asylum seekers! They need compassion. They are here legally! 2. Do not separate families. This causes irreparable damage to children. I can’t believe I even have to say that! 3. Get a system & the people in place to deal with the influx at the border & throughput agencies in the USA.that support refugees.4. And, this is the biggest. Deal with ROOT CAUSES! A bill to put the obligation on our closest neighbors, begets ill will. We are better than this law. I would rather live next to an asylum seeker any day, than the racist white guy who drafted this legislation!
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