Caravan proves U.S. asylum laws are weak, Congress should fix with H.R. 391, President Trump should make condition of renegotiation of NAFTA

April 30, 2018, Fairfax, Va.—Americans for Limited Government President Rick Manning today issued the following statement urging the House to immediately enact H.R. 391 by U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson (R-La.) to strengthen the standard under which asylum seekers may enter and remain in the United States from “a significant possibility” of credible fear of persecution to “more probable than not” in response to the caravan incursion into the U.S. via Mexico:

“The illegal immigrant caravan on the Mexico side of the California border shows what a mess Congress has made of the U.S. immigration system. Human smugglers and others are coaching prospective asylum seekers on how to interact with the U.S. Border Patrol to get into the U.S. Under current law anyone claiming a credible fear of persecution must be allowed to remain in the U.S. even if their statements cannot be corroborated.

“This obvious loophole is being exploited and the standard must be strengthened. U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson’s bill is a step in the right direction to mitigate fraud while protecting legitimate asylum seekers, and the House should immediately act to pass H.R. 391, which will increase the evidence needed to meet the standard, and include it in any appropriations bill before Congress effecting homeland security.

“The U.S. is a generous country with a long history of protecting legitimate asylum seekers. The loophole is allowing gang infiltration, drug smugglers, and other criminals to penetrate the border, crowding out legitimate claims by overwhelming the system.

“In the meantime, President Trump should make Mexico stopping illegal immigrants from entering the United States a precondition to NAFTA renegotiations and good neighborly relations.

“Under international law, Mexico should have been the country to process any claims of asylum, per the U.N. Convention on Refugees, to which Mexico is a party. By allowing the caravan to proceed to the U.S. Mexico border unhindered with the express purpose of claiming asylum violates Mexico’s treaty obligations and the Trump administration now must consider whatever sanctions and other actions are now appropriate.  It is clear that if the government of Mexico won’t respect our physical border, then we must withdraw economic privileges they receive due to their proximity.  This should include taking initial steps to prepare for making NAFTA a bilateral treaty with Canada.”

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