Nearly one out of every 10 illegal immigrants crossing the southwest border is now demanding asylum, using “magic words” to claim they fear their home country, and turning a program intended to be a humanitarian lifeline into a new path for unauthorized migrants to gain a foothold in the U.S.
It’s a major change over just the last five years as lax Obama administration policies entice ever-more migrants to try to exploit the loophole, which the Border Patrol’s chief calls a “fail in policy.”
In 2010, less than 1 percent of those at the border were requesting asylum from the agents or officers who nabbed them. Now it’s 9 percent, according to statistics the Immigration Reform Law Institute pried loose from the government through an open-records request and provided to The Washington Times.
The migrants are being coached by friends and family or smugglers, who collect thousands of dollars per person for their efforts, on the “magic words” to say to get put on the asylum track, border officials say.
“We know that they’re coaching individuals on specifically what to say when they come here, that they just rattle off and they memorize the magic words that they need to say so that they’ll fall within the statute of credible fear,” Border Patrol Chief Mark Morgan told the Senate Homeland Security Committee in a hearing last week.