Initial Asylum Applications Approved For Majority Of Undocumented Children

| by Sarah Fruchtnicht

The majority of unaccompanied immigrant children who requested asylum in the U.S. this year have had their initial applications approved.

A report from the House Judiciary Committee Friday suggests that refugee children seeking asylum in the U.S. are likely to receive it.

Initial asylum applications for 65 percent of unaccompanied minors are approved, the Washington Times reports. Those who are refused can appeal the decision.

“President Obama’s refusal to crack down on rampant asylum fraud is one of the many reasons we are witnessing a surge of Central Americans seeking to enter the U.S. illegally at the border,” said committee chairman Rep. Robert Goodlatte, R-Virginia.

Goodlatte says if more are turned away at the border, fewer immigrants will make the trip.

“New data showing that the vast majority of Central Americans’ asylum claims are immediately approved will only worsen the situation along our southern border by encouraging more to come and take advantage of the situation,” he said. ”Our asylum laws are in place to help individuals who are facing truly serious persecution in their countries.”

Goodlatte along with Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, introduced the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act Thursday. The bill increases the number of judges who hear deportation cases.

"The administration," Chaffetz said, "has been telegraphing to the world that if you just step foot in the United States, we will not deport you."

Chaffetz said the asylum process “is being abused.”

“Too many are finding ways to game the system,” Chaffetz said. “By strengthening standards for those who claim ‘credible fear’ we can expedite the removal process. We must deal with this crisis in both a humane and realistic manner. This legislation does both.”

However, these politicians fail to note the dangerous violence and extreme poverty that these children were facing in their home countries. As the Washington Post reports, many of the undocumented immigrant children are fleeing from Central America to avoid the area's widespread gang violence.

Sources: Washington Times, Salt Lake Tribune, Washington Post

Image credit: Jonathan McIntosh, Eric Gay