As The Daily Wire has reported extensively, the United States is currently experiencing an unprecedented migrant influx at our southern border that, in the words of National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd, places our national border and homeland security apparatus in “uncharted waters.” Here is how U.S. Customs and Border Protection put the border numbers in context, as part of its press release accompanying its monthly report for March:
In Fiscal Year 2019 to date, the U.S. Border Patrol has seen a more than 370% increase in the number of family units apprehended compared to the same time period in FY2018. Today, 60% of apprehensions along the Southwest border are family units and unaccompanied children, made up predominantly of individuals from Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
Additionally, through the first six months of FY19, CBP has encountered 104 large groups composed of 100 or more individuals totaling 17,242 apprehensions. In comparison, U.S. Border Patrol encountered 13 large groups in FY2018 and two in FY2017.
Part of the problem, as I have noted, is the dissemination of information to other nations — specifically, Central America’s “Northern Triangle” — that U.S. asylum law says something other than what it actually says. Our asylum statute, 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i), is operative for those who are persecuted in their native countries for “race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” For instance, ethnic Yazidis persecuted in Islamic State-overrun Iraq should qualify — but purely economically motivated migrants simply hoping to “seek a better life,” in the abstract, should not. The years-long spreading of generally false information to would-be migrant communities has had consequences: as Rachel Bovard noted at American Greatness in October, “asylum cases more than octupled from 5,523 in 2009 to 81,864 in 2016” — and the trend has only exacerbated under President Trump.
Now, it seems like the goading of the bogus asylum claim-centric migrant influx crisis is getting help from the paradigmatic transnational institution of border and sovereignty erosion itself: The United Nations.
According to the Immigration Reform Law Institute, the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR) is actively assisting large “caravans” of Central American migrants. The Institute reports:
The UNHCR has stated that refugees and asylum-seekers from Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador have been forced into displacement by a confluence of factors that have led to an escalating situation of chronic violence and insecurity. These factors range from the influence of organized crime such as drug cartels and urban gangs to the limited national capacity—compounded by corruption, poverty, and exclusion—of UN member states to provide protection. However, these factors are not recognized by U.S. law as criteria for asylum.
The key sentence is the last sentence — corruption, poverty, and exclusion do not count for asylum protection under 8 U.S.C. § 1158(b)(1)(B)(i). Undeterred, though UNHCR spokesman Charlie Yaxlie says: “We wish to reiterate and underline that any individuals within that group that are fleeing persecution and violence, they need to be given access to territory and they need to be allowed to exercise their fundamental human rights to seek asylum and have access to refugee status determination procedures.”
In one word: Ridiculous.