Chaffetz: ‘We’re Seeing a Rapid Rise in People Coming to U.S.’ Claiming Asylum
“The United States has the most generous immigration system in the world. Fiscal year 2015, the State Department issued almost 10 million visas for people seeking temporary entry into the United States. State Department issued an additional 531,463 immigrant visas last year alone. Those 10.5 million immigrants and non-immigrant visa holders joined an estimated 20 million others who entered the United States without visas under the Visa Waiver Program.
Our government also issued 1,075,063 border-crossing cards to Mexican nationals in just the first 10 months of fiscal year 2015. There are an estimated, we’re guessing, close to 10 million border crossing cards in circulation today. On top of that, more than a million non-immigrant students are lawfully studying in the United States on student visas. Some 2,093,711 individuals were granted employment authorization in fiscal year 2015. In fiscal year 2013, the last year for which statistics are available, the United States granted asylum status to 25,199 people. And from fiscal year 2008 to 2014 the number of individuals claiming a credible fear of persecution in their home country increased some 921 percent.
If we can put that graphic up, I would appreciate it. We are seeing a rapid rise in people coming to the United States, stepping foot into our country and claiming asylum. We’ve had a lot of discussion about refugees who the administration want to import to the United States of America. But let’s also understand the surge that’s happening on our borders. Just today on the front page of the ‘Washington Post,’ it has a talking — has a front-page story about the number of children that are coming across our borders. You can put that graphic down. Thank you.”