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US ICE agent. Photo supplied

US border crisis continues with new bill proposed by Democrats

The crisis at the US border with Mexico continues to be a growing problem with no solution. The two sides of the political aisle are so busy fighting each other that President Donald Trump will not accomplish much.

Published: July 6, 2019, 1:48 pm

    The Democrats want open borders and a new bill is set to be introduced by the party which will increase the number of asylum seekers by 100 000. According to the United Nations, some 22 900 refugees were resettled in the US in 2018.

    The Northern Triangle and Border Stabilization Act (H.R. 3524) being introduced by Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) is an attempt to increase the numbers.

    This number does not take into account the hundreds of thousands of immigrants crossing the southern border daily. Nor does it include immigrants from places other than Central America – it refers only to those seeking asylum from the so-called Northern Triangle countries: El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras.

    The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) is, is backing the bill, and even added its own suggestions. AILA Executive Director Benjamin Johnson noted: “H.R. 3524 also calls for hiring more immigration judges, but on its own, more judges won’t eliminate the enormous 900 000 case backlog slowing the courts.”

    In other words, more administration staff should be deployed to assist migrants, but not any border patrol agents.

    Democrats have already complained about the “inhumane” conditions where immigrants are being housed. But increasing the number of migrants will not improve conditions at the border.

    One of the elements of the proposed act is to facilitate the asylum process in the countries where the migrants originate from to help reduce the congestion at the border. But this may lead to a faulty vetting system.

    The screening is currently by eight federal agencies including the State Department, Department of Homeland Security and the FBI.

    At least six security database checks and biometric security checks are run against US federal databases. Medical information as well as personal interviews are also part of the screening process.

    The United Nations meanwhile reported that currently, it takes between 12 and 24 months for asylum seekers to be vetted once they are recommended to the US.

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