Homeland Security limited in ability to detect asylum fraud, watchdog finds

Article author: 
Stephan Dinan
Article publisher: 
Washington Times
Article date: 
3 December 2015
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 
Homeland Security officials have "limited capabilities" to detect fraudulent asylum applications, the government’s chief watchdog said in a devastating report released Wednesday that could deal a major blow to President Obama’s approach to illegal immigration across the southwestern border.
Republicans have accused the administration of "rubberstamping" asylum applications of illegal [alien] immigrants who make a claim after getting caught at the border, and they said the new report by the Government Accountability Office shows just how easy it is to game the system.
The GAO said U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Executive Office of Immigration Review don't even have a sense for how big the risks of fraud are in the asylum programs they oversee, and officers are often forced to make decisions on whether to admit someone based purely on their own testimony...
Asylum claims jumped from about 47,000 in 2010 to more than 108,000 in 2014 as illegal [alien] immigrants from Central America, who have surged the border in recent years, discovered the asylum process...
Rep. Bob Goodlatte, chairman of the House Judiciary Committee, said as many as 70 percent of asylum applications show indications of fraud - yet the Obama administration hasn"t taken steps to fix it...
"The effective rubberstamping of asylum applications is one of the root causes of the ongoing border surge and it also carries with it serious national security concerns," Mr. Goodlatte said. "Terrorism experts agree that the asylum process is a vulnerability that terrorists have and will continue to exploit to gain entry into the United States."