Lewis Morris / April 10, 2018

Nothing to Fear From Refugees?

Two new studies paint contrasting portraits of the issue of migrants seeking asylum in the U.S.

America is a beacon of freedom to the world, particularly for people from nations looking to escape political or religious persecution, war or economic upheaval. The U.S., as a rule, grants asylum to these refugees based on the seriousness of their claims and whether they could suffer harm if they are returned to their native land. And Americans take pride in being a place where the oppressed of other lands can seek asylum and establish a new life. But how many people, and from which lands, can we take in? And how can we tell if the system is being abused?

Since taking office, President Donald Trump has taken the issue of refugees very seriously. One of his first acts was to issue a ban on accepting people from seven nations that have a proven history of terrorist activity and anti-American sentiments. The Left went nuts, sending protesters to the streets and flooding the airwaves with screeds about how Trump was anti-Muslim. They conveniently left out certain details about the ban being temporary, how it was specifically targeted to countries from which terrorists are trying to infiltrate the U.S., and the fact that it is the purview of the president to engage in such actions in the interest of national security.

The Supreme Court sided with Trump on that basis, but as his orders routinely get updated to add or remove certain nations from the travel ban list, a new round of court challenges takes place. This keeps the issue in the news, but brings us no closer to settling the issue of what to do with the flood of refugees seeking asylum or how to handle those already in the United States.

A recent study by the leftist Urban Institute suggests that we have nothing to fear from the refugees already in the U.S. Through analysis of census and refugee survey data, the report claims that refugees largely integrate into all aspects of American life, learning English, buying homes, and starting their own businesses. According to the report, the longer refugees stay in America, the more American they become.

This all sounds great, but a deeper dive into the study reveals that it is based on an aggregate view of all refugees. It does not look at refugees from specific cultures or countries. Therefore, it does not help us understand how refugees from certain Islamic countries are faring in the U.S., or whether they are assimilating or contributing positively to the American ideal. Europe is experiencing major issues with Islamic refugees who blatantly refuse to assimilate. Even leftist European leaders are starting to admit there’s a migrant problem. It is only common sense that America be aware of this and act to prevent the same problem here.

In a sense, Urban’s study is rather worthless when it comes to addressing which refugees we should accept and which ones must either be kept under tight surveillance or turned away outright. It serves as good fodder for the anti-Trump Leftmedia to paint him as a bully while portraying the illegals as saints. Most probably are, but it’s the ones who aren’t that we should be worried about.

A different analysis on refugees indicates that not every person who comes to America seeking asylum is worthy of protected status. While the number of refugees seeking asylum in the U.S. has risen across all countries of origin in recent years, asylum claims have risen dramatically from Latin American countries.

Traditionally, a very low number of asylum seekers from Central American and Mexico are granted asylum in the U.S. However, migrants from these countries have been more willing to seek asylum status. The recent so-called caravan that was turned back after Trump deployed troops to meet them at the border was a perfect example of this. Over a thousand migrants made plain their intention to come to the U.S. illegally and claim asylum once they were caught. This would put them in a whole different bucket than traditional illegal immigrants. They could stay in this country indefinitely until their case is heard in the courts — courts that are already severely backlogged.

The sharp uptick in potential asylum cases from Latin America suggests that illegal immigrants have grown wise to how the U.S refugee system works. Their attempt to game the system clogs the courts and keeps legitimate cases from being heard. It also allows these fake refugees an opportunity to stay in the country illegally, abusing America’s good will for their own short-term gain. And the more that good will is abused, the less likely Americans are willing to help any refugees.

There is no short answer to relieving the courts of the backlog of refugee cases to be heard. And there may be no way to know for certain which groups of refugees will be a net gain for the country. But there is a surefire solution to stopping illegal immigrants from coming into the country and claiming false asylum. Build the wall and tighten border security. After that, all the other problems will become easier to solve.

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