Wednesday, June 16, 2004

Asylum and Terrorism

Michelle Malkin presents a frightening picture of the state of the current asylum regime operating in the US:
But the system for screening out the well-meaning from the menaces is completely overwhelmed. Claims of "credible fear of persecution" are almost impossible to document but are rarely rejected. Federal homeland security officials are unable to detain asylum-seekers for background checks without the civil liberties brigade screaming "racial profiling." And there is still a woeful shortage of detention space -- just 2,000 beds nationwide -- to hold those with suspect claims.

As a result, thousands of refugees and asylum-seekers who have made flimsy claims of persecution are let loose. As the Department of Justice's inspector general reported, 97 percent of all asylum-seekers from any country who were released from immigration custody were never found again and deported.
As an optional statutory elective this last semester, I chose to tae immigration law. I took it mostly because of the issues that have been raised since 9/11, and I was keen on learning about the mechanisms for screening and excluding potentially dangerous people from our country.

I was soon disappointed to learn that the class was to be taught from a alien-advocate point of view. That is, every law or regulation or process of review that we looked at was studied from the perspective of the alien trying to gain admission. As such, the professor frequently mentioned offhand things such as the ways in which asylum officers would capriciously deny credible applicants based on some vague and likely prejudicial suspicion. Every anecdote always dealt with the way that aliens were getting unnecessarily screwed over by callous or imcompetent bureaucrats. I never once heard anything like the figure Malkin presents about 97% of applicants disappearing into the US population.