by WorldTribune Staff, July 26, 2018
Democrats and establishment Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives are pushing an asylum plan that would effectively allow the entire populations of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador the right to migrate to the United States, a report said.
The House is moving to reform Attorney General Jeff Sessions’ rules that raise the standards of so-called “credible fear” in the asylum process, Breitbart News reported on July 25.
Sessions’ rules assert that unemployment, gang violence, domestic abuse, and lack of economic opportunity are not grounds for asylum in the U.S.
An amendment proposed by the House Appropriations Committee would open asylum to all foreign nationals who allege domestic violence and gang violence, the report said.
“This translates to at least 32 million Central Americans from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador having the right to come to the U.S. to seek asylum,” the Breitbart report noted.
Sen. Tom Cotton, Oklahoma Republican and close ally of President Donald Trump on immigration, tweeted: “Why is @HouseAppropsGOP voting to undermine AG Sessions’s asylum reforms & throw open our borders to fraud & crime? The amendment they adopted today is the kind of thing that will kill the DHS spending bill. I hope the full committee removes it.”
Central Americans routinely cite gang violence in seeking asylum in the U.S., though research has shown the overwhelming majority are economic migrants.
A 2016 study by the International Organization for Migration found that more than 90 percent of Guatemalans migrate to the U.S. for economic reasons. Less than 0.3 percent of Guatemalans migrate to the U.S. to escape violence and only 0.2 percent migrate to flee gangs.
A 2017 study conducted by the Reflection, Research, and Communication Team revealed that nearly 83 percent of Hondurans migrated to the U.S. for economic reasons. Only 11 percent of Hondurans migrated to the U.S. because of violence in their native country.