NEWYou can now listen to Fox News articles!
FIRST ON FOX: Rep. Dan Crenshaw, R-Texas, has introduced a sweeping asylum bill that seeks to crack down on asylum fraud and to fix the loopholes in what he calls a “fundamentally broken” asylum system.
The Closing Loopholes and Ending Asylum Abuse Act of 2022 marks the latest Republican proposal to tackle the ongoing and historic crisis at the southern border, which has seen more than 1.5 million migrant encounters already this fiscal year.
Crenshaw’s bill focuses on the asylum system itself, which currently allows many migrants to be released into the U.S. under a claim of having suffered or fearing persecution — at which point their cases may not be resolved for years. It’s a situation that has created massive backlogs of asylum cases in immigration courts.
Crenshaw’s bill would remove language in immigration law that allows asylum claims at the southern border to be made between ports of entry, and would also exclude those who have entered the country unlawfully — meaning that asylum seekers who did not present themselves at a designated port of entry and instead tried to enter the country illegally would not then be able to claim asylum.
It would also clarify the definition of “persecution” and “particular social group” for the purposes of claiming asylum due to fear of persecution as a member of a social group.
The legislation would also authorize the establishment of designated asylum offices abroad, including at the embassies and consulates in Mexico, where migrants can make asylum claims. The bill states that if migrants are present in a country where one of these offices exists, they must make the claim there — instead of the U.S.
“America’s asylum process is fundamentally broken. Everyone knows it, including the cartels, who are coaching illegal immigrants on how to exploit loopholes, contributing to the worst border crisis in decades,” Crenshaw said in statement to Fox News Digital.
“My bill closes those loopholes and prevents abuse by mandating asylum be made at a port of entry, prohibiting anyone who illegally entered the United States from claiming asylum after the fact, and establishing offices so migrants can claim asylum in a third country before they reach our borders.”
Crenshaw said the legislation is one of a number of solutions to the crisis he intends to introduce in the coming weeks.
Crenshaw’s bill comes as Republicans are eyeing a potential takeover of the House in the November midterm elections, giving them greater power to conduct oversight and pass legislation to combat the escalating crisis.
Republicans have recently introduced bills to reimburse Texas for Operation Lone Star, which surged resources and law enforcement to the border, and to stop immigration judges from being allowed to consider mental health of an illegal immigrant convicted of an aggravated felony when considering their asylum claim or whether to withhold deportation.