Louisiana Congressman says asylum laws abused; writes legislation to change it

Local News
U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson 6-16-18_1529188784104.JPG.jpg

U.S. Rep. Mike Johnson stopped by the FOX33 Studios in Shreveport today to do a remote satellite interview with FOX News in New York and talked candidly about the issues facing the country and the state today.

Johnson addressed the current influx of people seeking asylum at our U.S. borders, his appreciation of President Donald Trump’s meeting with North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, as well as what he called cleaning up the foreign influences in our public policy.

“Hostile foreign nations are so often trying to intervene in our system and disrupt our democratic processes,” Johnson said, adding that he has legislation pending that will take care of the problem.

He spoke at length about the current immigration problems and the need to bring clarity to the laws. Those seeking asylum in the United States are not always truthful in their claims, he said. “A number of people come across our borders and abuse out asylum laws,” Johnson said.

“We have this thing in the federal government we call the ‘credible fear’ standard,” he continued. “Someone has to prove they are legitimately in fear for their lives or their family’s safety in order to find asylum here.”  Over the past year, the House Judiciary Committee has been holding hearings, and he said it has become clear that the asylum program has been “grossly abused.”

He said the hearings proved that “many, many hundreds of thousands of people have come in and claimed they were seeking asylum and were in fear for their lives, and it just simply wasn’t true.”

Johnson said he authored legislation to tighten the credible fear standard to make sure that the program would be in place for those who need it, but those “using it as a ploy should not be able to avail themselves of it.” He said if that was cleared up. We will actually clear up the backlog and help more people.”

The legislation Johnson offered was folded into HR 4760, or the “Securing America’s Future Act,” a sweeping piece of legislation that addresses almost every aspect of immigration. which is expected to be voted on in the House of Representatives next week. Johnson said the bill also addresses the visa lottery system, a system that people abused by bringing

extended family members into the country.

The bill also adds money to help build the border wall, which Johnson believes is extremely important in securing our country against illegal immigrants. Johnson said it will take 218 votes to pass the legislation, and though he believes it will be close, he also believes it will pass.

Below is a summary of the Securing America’s Future Act:

This bill amends the Immigration and Nationality Act to revise immigrant visa allocation provisions, including family-related visas. A nonimmigrant classification for parents of adult U.S. citizens is created.

The diversity visa program is eliminated.

Annual immigration levels are revised.

The limit on the worldwide level of employment-based immigrants is increased.

The H-2C visa temporary agricultural worker program is revised. A trust fund is established to provide incentives for such workers to return to their country of origin.

DNA testing to establish family relationships is authorized.

Employment eligibility verification provisions are revised. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) shall establish an employment verification system.

No federal, state, or local government entity or individual may prohibit or restrict a federal, state, or local government entity or official from complying with the immigration laws or assisting related federal law enforcement activities.

The bill revises provisions regarding: (1) detention of aliens in removal proceedings; (2) illegal entry and reentry; (3) inadmissibility and deportability of criminal aliens, gang members, drunk drivers, and sex offenders; (4) repatriation; (5) asylum and asylum fraud; (6) unaccompanied alien children; (7) foreign students; and (8) visa fraud.

The bill: (1) transfers authority for strengthening the southern border from the Department of Justice to DHS; (2) revises border security provisions; (3) provides for additional border security personnel; (4) authorizes new ports of entry along the northern border and southern borders; (5) authorizes National Guard border security activities; (6) provides contingent nonimmigrant status for certain aliens who entered the United States as minors; (7) authorizes appropriations for specified border barriers and infrastructure; and (8) establishes Operation Stonegarden to make border security grants to law enforcement agencies.

DHS shall: (1) submit a southern border threat analysis, (2) establish the Integrated Border Enforcement Team program, (3) implement the Border Security Deployment Program, (4) review social media activities of visa applicants, and (5) establish a biometric exit data system.

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