Everyone loves the party game “Two Truths and a Lie.” With immigration as a top concern for most Americans, can you guess which of these following three statements about immigration is false?
A. America is hostile to immigrants.
B. A majority of Americans support using Title 42 to expel illegal immigrants at the southern border.
C. Migrants crossing the southern border are asylees and should be allowed to stay.
Let’s take these statements one at a time:
A. LIE! The United States is incredibly friendly to immigrants. According to Pew Research, More than 1 million immigrants arrive in the U.S. each year. They join the nearly 45 million foreign-born people living in this country in 2018, which accounts for 13.7% of the U.S. population. Most Americans believe that immigrants strengthen our nation and hold positive views about immigrants.
B. TRUTH! Title 42 is a widely-supported emergency health measure implemented during the Trump administration to restrict immigration into the U.S. President Biden promised on the campaign trail that he would end the measure, but had not actively sought to overturn it until recently. The administration was set to end the measure on May 23, 2022 despite bipartisan opposition. However, a federal judge blocked the administration from ending the policy citing concerns about the economic costs states would incur for public services such as healthcare and education. Title 42 had turned away 1.8 million migrantsm who sought to bypass our legal immigration process, demonstrating its effectiveness in controlling illegal immigration. Americans in large measure support Title 42 as a tool. According to recent POLITICO-Harvard polling, over half of adults (55%) oppose ending the use of the order, compared to 45% who think the order should end.
C. LIE! Although many migrants crossing into the southern border claim asylum, few of their cases are likely to succeed. Asylees are individuals who cannot or will not return to their home of nationality because of fear of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. There has been an explosion in the number of immigrants claiming asylum for entrance and stay in the U.S. regardless of whether their situations warrant it. As a result, the immigration court system has a backlog of more than 1.8 million cases. Syracuse University’s TRAC, which tracks the status of asylum cases, suggests that the growth of the backlog has been accelerating at a breakneck pace since the start of the Biden administration. When asylum cases are finally adjudicated, about two out of three (65%) of cases are denied. Someone seeking more opportunity or escaping poverty may have a sympathetic case, but that does mean they qualify as asylees.
Bottom Line: The asylum process is meant for the most serious cases of people fleeing persecution. It should not be used to bypass our traditional immigration process. Unfortunately, migrants are coached by cartels and traffickers to claim asylum at the southern border, whether their situations merit it. This is breaking down our asylum process.