OPINION: Asylum Requests Are Up 1,700 Percent Post-Obama — And There’s No End In Sight

Photo by Guillermo Arias / AFP

Jen Kerns Contributor
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As illegal immigrants storm the gates of the United States, it is more clear than ever that our country is under siege.

As at least one report reveals that a prominent California Democratic political consultant is actually assisting caravan members, it appears that the caravan is, at least in part, a politically-motivated scheme to attack President Trump.

However, just as the charade failed to be effective in fully swaying the midterm elections, it will backfire once again.


The cold, hard facts tell a different story than Democrats would have you believe.

Statistics show that the Trump administration has actually been quite generous in allowing asylum seekers into the U.S.

Specifically – despite Trump’s tough stance on immigration – during just the first two years of the Trump administration there has been an record surge of illegal immigrants seeking to take advantage of our weak asylum laws.

During the Trump administration, asylum claims have increased a whopping 1,700 percent since Barack Obama was president in 2010. That is nearly a 2,000-percent increase!

Today, roughly one in 10 illegal immigrants at the southern U.S. border claims asylum – compared to just one out of 100 during the Obama administration in 2013.

In the 2018 fiscal year alone, the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has already received approximately 106,000 new asylum requests, compared to only 25,500 when Obama was elected president in 2008.

Furthermore, USCIS processed approximately 100,000 credible fear claims this past year, surpassing the record 94,000 cases that were already processed in fiscal year 2016.

The staggering increase in asylum seekers has not only created problems at our border, but has also created a backlog of hundreds of thousands of cases in our immigration courts.

U.S. immigration courts have received approximately 160,000 asylum requests in fiscal year 2018 alone, compared to only 42,000 in fiscal year 2008 when Obama was elected. The Associated Press reports that the backlog of asylum cases is so significant that cases being heard this year stem from ones filed three to four years ago, and there is a current backlog of approximately 300,000 cases. It is difficult to gage whether any cases applied for during the Trump administration have been heard, though it seems unlikely.

So, why the increase in asylum cases?

An “open borders” culture and weaknesses in our asylum laws have allowed illegal immigrants to more easily enter the U.S. and to stay here while awaiting their legal proceedings.

To begin with, asylum seekers only have to meet an incredibly low bar for establishing claims of a “credible fear” of returning to their home country. For example, asylum seekers do not have to provide one shred of evidence nor one iota of corroboration for their claims in order to receive permission to enter the U.S. to further await their case. This loophole has therefore allowed hundreds of thousands of asylum seekers entry into the U.S. before their cases are even heard, and it has allowed countless illegal immigrants to access the interior of the U.S. upon which many overstay the length of their cases for years afterward.

Based upon the staggering figures of our intake of illegal immigrant asylum seekers, one can hardly suggest with a straight face that the Trump administration and the American people have been anything but generous when it comes to taking in the world’s troubled population.

Now given the staggering increase in cases, combined with the new violent behavior of the men seeking to cross our borders, it is beyond time to yank the welcome mat from the doorstep of the kindest nation on the planet. To continue to allow the abuse of our immigration system would be an affront to American citizens, legal immigrants and individuals seeking legitimate asylum from war-torn corners of the world.

Jen Kerns (@JenKernsUSA) served as spokeswoman for the California Republican Party; spokeswoman for California’s Proposition 8, which went all the way to the U.S. Supreme Court; and as a Fox News writer for the 2016 U.S. presidential debates.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.