GONZO’S WORLD: Sessions’s Latest Assault On Truth – “Dirty Lawyers Gaming the ‘Credible Fear’ Process for Asylum Seekers” — Earns Him Three (3) Pinocchios!


Nicole Lewis reports for the Washington Post Fact Checker:

“We also have dirty immigration lawyers who are encouraging their otherwise unlawfully present clients to make false claims of asylum providing them with the magic words needed to trigger the credible fear process.”

-Attorney General Jeff Sessions, remarks to the Executive Office for Immigration Review, Oct. 12, 2017

On Oct. 8, President Trump released a list of strict immigration policiesthat include funding for a border wall with Mexico, restricting federal grants to “sanctuary cities,” and a scaling back of legal pathways to citizenship. Just a few days later, on Oct. 12, Attorney General Jeff Sessions encouraged Congress to pass the administration’s legislative priorities to solve the “crisis at our borders.”

In a speech, Sessions described an immigration system rife with “fraud and abuse” which paves the way for millions of immigrants to enter the country illegally. Sessions zeroed in on the asylum system in the United States, asserting that “dirty immigration lawyers” are coaching their clients to make “fake claims” to trigger “credible fear” proceedings so they can stay in the United States.

Regular readers of The Fact Checker may recall we’ve dug into Sessions rhetoric on immigration before, often giving him Pinocchios for statements that are thin on the facts. Is this just one more instance of Sessions’ inflammatory  rhetoric or is the rise in new cases due primarily to fraud and lawyers, as he claims? Let’s take a look.

. . . .

The Pinocchio Test

Sessions claims “dirty immigration lawyers,” are coaching their clients to make false claims to stay in the United States. But his claim rests on little evidence. The GAO report his spokesman cited details the challenges of evaluating how widespread fraud in the asylum system is. And Sessions seems to be confusing the details of the credible fear process. Most credible fear claims happen at the border without the consultation of lawyers.

The data show that people from Central America, where violence and humanitarian abuses have surged, make up most of the credible fear claims. About 80 percent of the time, a trained immigration official ruled that the cases are legitimate, requiring a court ruling.

Sessions lacks the evidence to make his claim but he uses the lack of evidence in a dubious way, filling in the missing pieces with inflammatory rhetoric on immigration fraud and casting immigration lawyers in a negative light. Until Sessions can point to concrete evidence of widespread fraud, he should refrain from making such sweeping and definitive statements. We award Sessions Three Pinocchios.

Three Pinocchios


Read the complete article at the above link.
Gonzo’s xenophobic, homophobic, White Nationalist agenda continues to pile up “Pinocchios” at an impressive rate — by my informal count, he has already amassed a small army of 17 “Total Pinocchios” just since August 15, 2017!
But, undoubtedly, there will be many more to come. Numerous expert commentators have already pointed out and documented the many misrepresentations and distortions in Gonzo’s bogus claim that a wave of “Asylum Fraud” is sweeping our system.
Yeah, I know that the Washington Times and other right wing media have jumped in to defend their “Favorite Xenophobe Alarmist” against the Post. But, I’ll go with the Post any day on this.



http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2017/jul/7/illegal-immigration-spikes-Sstephen DinNalong-us-mexico-border/

Stephen Din an reports in the Washington Times:

“Illegal immigration across the Southwest border rose yet again in June, according to the latest Homeland Security figures released Friday that show a noticeable jump over the last two months.

Border Patrol agents nabbed 16,089 illegal immigrants trying to sneak in, while Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers identified another 5,570 illegal immigrants who showed up without authorization at the ports of entry.

The combined 21,659 illegal immigrants are still the lowest numbers for June in years, but the spike is worrisome because illegal immigration generally begins to slow in the summer months. Indeed, the last four years saw an average drop of 10 percent in Border Patrol apprehensions in June — but this year saw an 11 percent rise.

The number of illegal immigrant children and families also rose sharply. Unaccompanied children spiked 31 percent in June compared to May, and the total number of people coming as families shot up a stunning 47 percent last month.

The numbers could end up spurring action on President Trump’s border wall, which had been attacked as unnecessary earlier this year as the numbers of those attempting to cross the border plunged to 40-year lows.

Experts say the number of people caught is a rough yardstick of how many people are trying to cross, so a rise in apprehensions signals a rise in the overall level of illegal immigration.”


Read the complete article at the link.

Always risky to break into the “victory dance” in the first inning. Just ask George W. Bush about premature declarations of victory. And, the idea that a border wall (even one lined with solar panels) will stem the tide: pretty ridiculous.



Not So Fast, My Friends! — Border Intrusions Increase In May N/W/S Administration’s (Perhaps Premature) “Victory Dance!”


Stephen Dinan reports in the Washington Times:

“Illegal immigration across the southwest border appears to have jumped 27 percent in May, according to numbers released this week by Homeland Security, breaking a three-month streak of declines under President Trump and suggesting that the slump in migrants has bottomed out.

The Border Patrol nabbed 14,535 illegal immigrants in the southwest last month, up from just 11,129 in April. Analysts said that the number of people caught is a rough measure of the overall flow of people trying to sneak in.

The number of illegal immigrants showing up at ports of entry without authorization also ticked up, from 4,649 to 5,432.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection, the agency that oversees the Border Patrol and the ports of entry, acknowledged the increase in crossings, but attributed it to “a seasonal uptick.”

CBP said it “expects the uptick to continue” through the summer months.

The numbers suggest that while Mr. Trump appears to have changed the calculations of many border crossers, there’s still a segment of the population — particularly among Central Americans — determined to make the journey.

Agents usually record an uptick from April to May, but the jump this year is the largest on record.


Still, it’s by far the lowest May total on record. For example, May 2016 saw more than 40,000 illegal immigrants caught at the border.

Illegal immigration from Cuba and Haiti had been a problem last year, but had dipped under the final months of President Obama and again under Mr. Trump.

Now, Cubans appear to be surging again, while Haitians remain low.

Two other special categories of migrants — unaccompanied minors and families traveling together — also saw increases last month, rising from a combined 2,117 nabbed by the Border Patrol in April to 3,070 in May.”


We should also keep in mind that according to other recent reports, the largest flow of asylum applicants is now from Venezuela. Most of them are middle class and business-oriented individuals who already have visas enabling them to enter the U.S. legally. Once admitted, they can apply for asylum at any time during the first year following entry. Such individuals would not show up in any of the border or port of entry statistics.



Secretary Kelly Proposes Legislative Legalization For Dreamers & Central American TPSers! — Puts Ball In Congress’s Court!


The Washington Times reports:


“The Trump administration last week floated an amnesty idea for potentially 1 million illegal immigrants, looking to find permanent solutions for some of the most sympathetic cases in the long-running immigration debate.

In two days of testimony to Congress, Homeland Security Secretary John F. Kelly said he doubts his ability to oust some 250,000 immigrants from Central American countries who have been in the U.S. for nearly two decades on a temporary humanitarian relief program.

He also signaled that he would keep protecting 780,000 Dreamers from deportation and hoped Congress would grant them permanent status.

“You’ve got to solve this problem,” Mr. Kelly told the House Homeland Security Committee when members prodded him not to deport Dreamers.

He said he would not deport Dreamers but warned that the policy could change when someone else takes over his job, making the only solution congressional action. He said there is clear bipartisan support for some form of permanent legalization and urged lawmakers to take the opportunity that the Trump administration is giving.

“I’m not going to let the Congress off the hook. You’ve got to solve it,” he said.

If lawmakers wait, he warned, a future secretary might take a stricter line on Dreamers and fully cancel President Obama’s 2012 amnesty, known in governmentspeak as DACA.”


Finally, some of the common sense and nuance that many had hoped Secretary Kelly would bring to the table! And, some public recognition that it is neither desirable nor possible to restore or pursue all of these cases on already overwhelmed U.S. Immigration Court dockets. I also agree with the Secretary that Congress needs to step up to the plate and fashion some type of bipartisan legislative solution.

One thing that might favor a solution in this Congress: one of the strongest opponents of past bi-partisan efforts at common-sense immigration reform, Jeff “Gonzo-Apocalypto” Sessions, is no longer in the Senate. In fact he seems to be “otherwise occupied” these days defending himself on possible ethnics and perjury charges.

My friend, Nolan Rappaport, who has been touting bipartisan legislative solutions to immigration problems for ages should be cheered with this development! Nolan recently reported that some of his articles from The Hill were entered into the Congressional Record!