Jeff Krone’s letter is deserving of criticism for its absence of fact checking. (See: “To be a citizen, go through the process,” May 26 Times-News.)
Mr. Krone has no data whatsoever to substantiate his misrepresentations and lack of understanding in regard to immigration. He is essentially wrong on all points.
In case Mr. Krone is unaware, there are a variety of ways in which a person may enter our country as part of the immigration process. Many people are here on legal immigration visas, granted for study, work or tourism.
Many other people are here legally under the 1980 Refugee Act that operates on the principle that if a person is a political dissident or is at risk to return home due to persecution or other circumstances of bodily harm, they can request asylum in the United States.
Under federal immigration asylum rules, in order to seek asylum, a migrant has to actually be on U.S. soil. You may apply if you are at a port of entry (an established border checkpoint) or if you have crossed into the United States.
If you enter the country illegally between official established checkpoints, you may voluntarily turn yourself in and announce your intention of applying for asylum. You are then legally permitted to a court hearing, regardless of your immigration status.
A decade ago, only 1% of people crossing the border sought asylum, but that number has now risen to 33%. Under federal law, these immigrants are legally released into the U.S. pending court hearings about their claims.
The long-standing image of migrants entering illegally (“under a barbed wire fence, or in the water of the Rio Grande,” per Mr. Krone) to stealthily make their way into the country is a mostly outdated perception. Currently, most often migrants turn themselves in immediately.
Asking for asylum is a far cry from receiving it, as having an asylum claim denied is a significant risk, being close to 64% of requests in 2019. These people can be, and are, deported.
The truth is that by directing all of your attention to asylum seekers who cross land borders turns a blind eye to the much larger problem: people who overstay their visas.
These immigrants who stay past their date of expected departure are often overlooked in the controversy of illegal immigration. In the past 10 years, those in the U.S. who don’t leave the country when their visa expired have outnumbered border crossings by a ratio of about two to one.
It is estimated that about half of those living in the U.S. illegally in 2015 were visa overstays. More border walls will have zero effect on stopping these illegal immigrants.
If you look at the administration’s own Customs and Border Protection statistics, the number of irregular border crossings is at historic lows. What has made such a difference, as noted above, is that the number of people seeking protection by requesting asylum has had a huge increase. Regardless, these people are making a completely legal request.
Mr. Krone’s characterization of immigrants as being hordes of terrorists, rapists and disease carriers has no factual basis; it is simply more of Donald Trump’s persistent lies.
No, Mr. Krone, we most emphatically do not have open borders. Furthermore, Memorial Day is your own smokescreen for opposing immigration, and the concept of a “corrupt media” as the reason for concern for immigrant’s well-being, is a figment of your imagination.
The immigration morass is a complex problem that will require compromise, not the jingoistic pandering upon which Mr. Krone insists.