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During a conference call for the press this week, the White House called for a bipartisan congressional effort to close loopholes driving a new border crisis. Assistant DHS Secretary Jonathan Hoffman said “our immigration system is clearly being gamed by those who are aware of the loopholes and shortcomings of our system…DHS is unable to address these loopholes because of a failure by Congress to act.”

Hoffman said Congress must fix:

  • The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Prevention Reauthorization Act, which allows the release of trafficked unaccompanied alien children (UACs) from non-contiguous countries (e.g., Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador);
  • The Flores Settlement Agreement, a court ruling that limits DHS' detention of alien minors to 20 days before they must be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services for placement;
  • The overly broad definition of “credible fear,” which eases the entry of those claiming asylum; and
  • The Zadvydas ruling, which requires the release of deportees from countries that refuse their repatriation.

As evidence of the extent of the border crisis, Hoffman cited a tripling in the number of those entering the U.S. illegally over last year, apprehensions exceeding 50,000 for the second month in a row, a 315 percent increase over last year of individuals using children to pose as family units to gain entry, and a 1700 percent increase in asylum claims from 2008 to 2016. Hoffman said that while 80 percent pass credible fear screening, only about 20 percent are granted asylum before a federal judge. 

White House Senior Policy Advisor Stephen Miller stressed the need for change, saying:

“(T)he humane and compassionate thing to do to help legitimate asylum seekers would be to drain the fraud and corruption and abuse from the system.  But Democrats oppose doing that.  Their policy solution is to simply continue to automatically release family units and minors who show up at the border, never to be heard or seen from in again in many cases, which is truly open borders.  And in order to effectuate their open borders agenda, they are perpetuating a system that brings immense profit to some of the most vicious and horrible criminal organizations in the world, and are responsible for the trade in child smuggling. 
 
“So when you want to talk about what's cruel and what's inhumane, we should talk about the consequence of loopholes that make it almost impossible to remove individuals showing up in our country illegally, therefore driving massive numbers to take the dangerous trek, leading to more instability in sending countries; leading to more instability in receiving communities; and contributing to the rise of very dangerous transnational smuggling organizations.

“(T)here are life-and-death consequences to these loopholes.  The most obvious example, of course, being how MS-13 has taken advantage of these loopholes.  They gain footholds in U.S. communities like Long Island.  And I would ask any members of Congress who want to maintain the status quo whether their constituents or their neighbors in their communities would favor MS-13 getting a stronghold where they live.”

Read more in CNS News.

Updated: Thu, Jun 14th 2018 @ 12:50pm EDT