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house Bill H.R. 7139

Should Asylum Applications Only Be Accepted at Designated Ports of Entry?

Argument in favor

Asylum abuse has become a way to flaunt U.S. immigration law, allowing migrants to make fraudulent or unprovable claims after already entering the U.S. Asylum-seekers should be required to make their application at a port of entry so as to discourage illegal border crossing.

Danny's Opinion
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12/15/2018
If I want to mail a package I must go to the post office. If they want in our country they should go to the proper line.
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JDMA's Opinion
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12/15/2018
If you want to come to the USA do it legally. Make it the law that they have to come to ports of entry to be documented. Other countries do it, why can’t we?
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JTJ's Opinion
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12/15/2018
Mexico has offered these people asylum, yet they have turned it down. None of these people are legitimate asylum seekers, they are opportunists. Legitimate asylum seekers must respect our generosity and follow a lawful and orderly entry process.
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Argument opposed

Limiting asylum seekers to designated ports of entry would significantly reduce the number of places where they can enter the U.S., making it more difficult for them to claim asylum. Asylum-seekers should be allowed to apply for asylum even if they've already entered the country.

cjsmellie's Opinion
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12/15/2018
Asylum seekers may not have the luxury of going through specified ports of entry
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burrkitty's Opinion
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12/15/2018
This is a stupid idea. EVERY MAJOR AIRPORT IS A LEGAL POINT OF ENTRY. Any airport that has international flights. Every train-stop on a line that crosses the borders Every seaport and river port... it’s just dumb. Our map “borders” are meaningless in this regard, when I can get on a plane in Buenos Aries and land in Atlanta, Dayton, Houston, Chicago, New York, Newark... and so on. It’s just dumb. We are way more interconnected that this proposal seems to acknowledge. Not to mention most of the undocumented immigrants overstayed their legal visas. The poor people at the southern boarder are only a tiny fraction of international travel that flows in and out of this country every single day at hundreds and thousands of airports, train stations, seaports, and river ports all around the country.
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David 's Opinion
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12/15/2018
There is NO “...invasion...”. The number of people entering the country both legally and illegally has been on the decline for 25 years. Besides, people determined enough to get here by walking 100s of miles in sandals, are EXACTLY the kind of new citizen our country needs.
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What is House Bill H.R. 7139?

This bill — the Asylum at Designated Arrival Ports and Terminals (ADAPT) Act of 2018 — would amend the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) to require that requests for asylum in the U.S. can only be made at designated ports of arrival immediately upon arrival in the country.

Impact

Asylum-seekers; Central America; U.S.-Mexico border; ICE; INA; and designated ports of arrival.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 7139

A CBO cost estimate is unavailable.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Louie Gohmert (R-TX) introduced this bill to require that asylum requests only be made at designated ports of arrival:

“America is facing an invasion at our southern border that promises to be followed by more massive caravans. Our asylum system was never meant to add hundreds of thousands more each year to over one million lawful visas that the United States provides. There are apparently groups who are funding thousands of people at a time to invade the United States without lawful right to do so. No other country in the entire world or in history is as generous with access to a country as the United States. Yet, asylum abuse has become a way to flaunt U.S. law and overwhelm our immigration system and bring down the greatest, most successful effort in self-government the world has ever known. This has to end now before it destroys the most desirable country to enter. 
My bill, the Asylum at Designated Arrival Ports and Terminals, or ADAPT Act, complements President Trump’s recent proclamation by requiring all asylum seekers to apply at a designated port of arrival immediately upon entry. By requiring asylum applications to be made (1) immediately, and (2) only at ports of arrival, illegal border crossers will no longer be able to game the system upon being caught. The combination of a border wall where it is needed, President Trump’s proclamation, newly released DHS / DOJ rules, and this bill will finally allow us to virtually end the unsustainable illegal entries into our country.”  

The Trump administration is currently working on finalizing a plan under which migrants seeking asylum must present themselves at ports of entry. This follows a presidential proclamation to the same effect on November 9, 2019, in which President Trump suspended immigrants’ entry into the U.S. across the U.S.-Mexico border and declared that asylum seekers must present themselves at ports of entry. President Trump says of this plan:

“Under this plan, the illegal aliens will no longer get a free pass into our country by lodging meritless claims in seeking asylum. Instead, migrants seeking asylum will have to present themselves lawfully at a port of entry, so they are going to have to lawfully present themselves at a port of entry.”

President Trump claims that under the current system, migrants use “fraudulent or meritless” claims to gain entry into the U.S. by crossing the border illegally and presenting themselves to Border Patrol agents, then asking for asylum using “well-coached language” from lawyers. He claims:

“They don’t believe in the phrase [asylum], but they are given a little legal statement to read, and they read it, and now all of a sudden they’re supposed to qualify, but that’s not the reason they are here.”

President Trump has also expressed hostility toward members of the migrant caravan currently seeking asylum in the U.S., saying they’re “not legitimate asylum seekers,” and adding that “asylum is not a program for those living in poverty. There are billions of people in the world living at the poverty level. The United States cannot possibly absorb them all.”

Civil rights groups have spoken out against attempts to limit asylum seekers’ entry points to ports of entry, arguing that President Trump’s proclamation contradicts federal statute under the INA. However, if this bill passes, the INA would fall in line with President Trump’s new asylum process. This would neutralize civil rights groups’ legal basis for contesting President Trump’s proclamation.

The Washington Post’s editorial board opposes President Trump’s plan to reduce asylum seekers’ options for applying for asylum in the U.S. In fact, it suggests that the opposite — allowing would-be asylees to apply for asylum while in their home countries — is a better solution:

“A rational policy would double down on U.S. aid programs [to Central America], with a focus on crime-fighting and security, while allowing would-be migrants to apply and be screened for asylum in their home countries. That could avoid the spectacle of north-bound caravans, such as the one making its way through Mexico right now — and of a president for whom the misery of migrants is just a convenient wedge issue.”


Of NoteCurrently, under the Immigration and Nationality Act, immigrants within the U.S. who tell immigration officials they’re afraid to return to their home countries have the right to request asylum and be immediately processed.

The Trump administration’s response to the migrant caravan from Central America that’s now reached the U.S. border has been a political flashpoint, with the president calling the situation a “national emergency” and vowing economic vengeance in the form of reduced aid to the would-be asylees’ home countries.

Those fleeing Central America are attempting to escape poverty, violence, and deteriorating government stability in the “Northern Triangle” of El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. In Honduras, two-thirds of the population lives in poverty, and 20 percent of the population lives on less than $1.90 a day. Fewer than one in ten violent crimes are solved in Honduras, in part because many police officers also moonlight as enforcers for the organized crime syndicates that have made Honduras one of the world’s most dangerous countries. Finally, there’s been a rash of recent droughts that threaten millions’ food security.


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / AndreyPopov)

AKA

ADAPT Act

Official Title

Asylum at Designated Arrival Ports and Terminals Act 2018

bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
  • The house has not voted
    IntroducedNovember 16th, 2018
    If I want to mail a package I must go to the post office. If they want in our country they should go to the proper line.
    Like (105)
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    Share
    Asylum seekers may not have the luxury of going through specified ports of entry
    Like (142)
    Follow
    Share
    This is a stupid idea. EVERY MAJOR AIRPORT IS A LEGAL POINT OF ENTRY. Any airport that has international flights. Every train-stop on a line that crosses the borders Every seaport and river port... it’s just dumb. Our map “borders” are meaningless in this regard, when I can get on a plane in Buenos Aries and land in Atlanta, Dayton, Houston, Chicago, New York, Newark... and so on. It’s just dumb. We are way more interconnected that this proposal seems to acknowledge. Not to mention most of the undocumented immigrants overstayed their legal visas. The poor people at the southern boarder are only a tiny fraction of international travel that flows in and out of this country every single day at hundreds and thousands of airports, train stations, seaports, and river ports all around the country.
    Like (99)
    Follow
    Share
    There is NO “...invasion...”. The number of people entering the country both legally and illegally has been on the decline for 25 years. Besides, people determined enough to get here by walking 100s of miles in sandals, are EXACTLY the kind of new citizen our country needs.
    Like (93)
    Follow
    Share
    If you want to come to the USA do it legally. Make it the law that they have to come to ports of entry to be documented. Other countries do it, why can’t we?
    Like (62)
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    Anyone who has ever walked in unfamiliar wilderness or even city neighborhoods can resoundingly answer, “No!” Hatred and fear of immigrants and refugees has purposely caused brains to shut down accepting bizarre conclusions like this. Imagine yourself walking from Latin America through Mexico to arrive at the United States often with children no less. Any chance you’d miss authorized points of entry to a country new to you? Purposeful fear mongering is a tool of Fascism used daily by #45 and politicians seeking office where scapegoating plays well. We Americans can and must be better than this. A country of immigrants is well able to except emigrants wherever they arrive. PS the majority arrive by air and from our northern boat borders but this fact doesn’t play to the racism of this Administration.
    Like (59)
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    Mexico has offered these people asylum, yet they have turned it down. None of these people are legitimate asylum seekers, they are opportunists. Legitimate asylum seekers must respect our generosity and follow a lawful and orderly entry process.
    Like (47)
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    What astounds me is the ignorance and racism that blind some Americans to the reality of the pain and loss to those who need to seek asylum. Who wants to leave their home country, culture, language and family? Our country has plenty of room for those who wish to come here and begin again.
    Like (37)
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    Everyone traveling to any country goes through customs, waits in line, and sees people behind desks or little standing tables. It’s just a practical part of international travel.
    Like (31)
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    Absolutely, trying to cross the border is not a request for asylum. The vast majority of these people only claim asylum after they are caught! It’s a George Soros tactic!
    Like (30)
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    These people who abandon everything should be welcomed to the land of the free, not corralled. Please let their first impression of America be better than a notice that says to travel a few more hours.
    Like (26)
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    Obviously! This should pass immediately. No more illegals getting asylum for breaking the law. They need proper vetting and not just freely released into the country. If they don’t show up to the hearing then ICE should find them and remove them from our country never to be given entrance again.
    Like (24)
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    When you are running from something you don’t have an option to find the right location to cross. People seeking asylum need help not obstacles.
    Like (21)
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    Asylum abuse has become a way to flaunt U.S. immigration law, allowing migrants to make fraudulent or unprovable claims after already entering the U.S. Asylum-seekers should be required to make their application at a port of entry so as to discourage illegal border crossing.
    Like (21)
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    What a stupid question to ask. BUILD THE WALL and STOP THE INVASION by these future socialist vermin.
    Like (18)
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    The number of ports is too insignificant to filter migrants trying to cross. Send people with paperwork instead of our military. Common sense, people! Pens are cheaper than guns, paper is cheaper than bullets, and social workers are cheaper than military personnel. Any person who claims to be a Christian and supports the inhumane treatment of human beings seeking asylum needs to get right with Jesus. Y’all are breaking my heart.
    Like (17)
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    Asylum seekers must, must physically in person apply at an officially designated port of entry. With a single exception. If during a declared war, someone seeks asylum by contacting our military (let’s say an Afghan pro-USA informant is on sharia fatwa hit list for example and is just hours away from getting snuffed out) then that would be an acceptable alternative method under such extreme circumstances.
    Like (16)
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    If someone is fleeing for their life, you think the tax payers should say I am sorry, you are in the wrong line, go wait over there? This is a ridiculous question of course not and i will vote against anyone who votes for this!!!
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    This must be a well organized and orderly process.
    Like (15)
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    Asylum seekers, in fear for their lives, should be heard at any port of entry.
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