Haitians Latest in a Long and Growing List of ‘Credible Fear’ Scammers

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By Joe Guzzardi

Joe is a CAPS Senior Writing Fellow whose commentaries about California's social issues have run in newspapers throughout California and the country for nearly 30 years. Contact Joe at joeguzzardi@capsweb.org, or find him on Twitter @joeguzzardi19.

The writer's views are his own.

October 26, 2016

In July, at a White House meeting with Mexico’s President Enrique Peña Nieto, President Obama praised the “extraordinary ties of family and friendship” that the two countries share.

Haitians join Cubans, Central Americans and Africans at Southwest border.
Their collective goal: asylum.

Obama must have a loose definition of friendship. According to internal Department of Homeland Security documents that U.S. Rep. Duncan Hunter (D-Calif.) accessed, Mexico has been instrumental in helping Haitians get to the United States for the simplest of reasons: Mexico doesn’t want them. Joe Kasper, Hunter’s chief of staff, told The Washington Times that “Mexico doesn’t want them, but it’s entirely content with putting migrants – in this case Haitians – right on America’s doorstep.”

Customs and Border Protection indicated that “an uptick” in Haitian arrivals has been ongoing for about a year. The number of illegal Haitians rose from 339 in fiscal year 2015 to 6,121 in 2016, an increase of more than 1,800 percent.

Mexico facilitates the travel of the Haitians with its infamous 20-day transit document that allows aliens to travel across Mexico before arriving in Tijuana, the entry point to the U.S. Those same 20-day transit passes helped Cubans, Africans and Central Americans get within a few miles of the U.S. where prospective asylum petitioners overwhelm border agents.

The process: aliens claim asylum at the border. If not granted, they fight deportation cases for years while they establish a foothold in the U.S., improving their chances of ultimately getting permanent residency status. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services received referrals to conduct credible fear screenings, the first part of an affirmative asylum claim, for 523 Haitians over the past year. Credible fear is well-known worldwide as the magic term to get a foothold in the U.S. that has led to a tenfold increase in border asylum claims since 2009.

Haiti, like the other sending countries, has a high fertility rate. Children born in the U.S. to asylees will become American citizens. Regardless of who wins the November presidential election, the birthright citizen debate will continue into 2017. Go to the CAPS Action Alert page here to encourage your representative to pass the Birthright Citizenship Act which requires that at least one parent is a U.S. citizen, a lawfully admitted permanent resident alien, or alien on active service in the military.


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