The House Oversight Committee recently met for a hearing in which they discussed the policies behind border security and migrant workers seeking asylum. After the hearing, Texas Congressman Patrick Fallon (R) shared his thoughts on the matter with Texas Politics.
“There’s a major difference between asylum and economic migrants,” said Rep. Fallon. “So, if I’m in fear of my life and I live in Venezuela, for instance, O.K., and Venezuela is a stateless regime now, it’s ridiculous. So, once I leave Venezuela, and I go to Colombia, I’ve reached asylum. I’m out of that country. They don’t have the power to come and get me O.K? But then...you leave you go to the safest next country. [T]hen you leave and go transit through 8 more countries to get to the United States. That’s not asylum, that’s an economic migrant. I feel for them because this is a great country. They are an economic migrant, but, therefore, they have no protections under our law. But the NGOs and the Democrats are saying is 'Claim asylum, wink wink, nod nod.’”
Rep. Fallon continued to further express his frustration with the Left’s stance on how to classify asylum-seeking migrants. The congressman stated that the sheer volume of migrant workers that could receive asylum is unsustainable.
“Almost all of them are [claiming asylum]…and then they’re even ordering border patrol agents to…just give it,” said Fallon.
The congressman elaborated, stating, “What the Left is saying, what the Democrats are saying, [is] if you are in certain countries in the world every single citizen of your country can claim asylum. That means billions of people and that’s absolutely absurd. It’s absurd, it’s not fair. And they don’t even want them to wait in Mexico. Let’s say you take a Haitian, once you get off the island of Hispaniola you’ve reached asylum."
"You’re fine, you’re safe. But what that is is a convenient excuse for the hard Left for their de facto open border policy. That’s what they are. Because if they truly say that every human being that crosses, reaches the frontier, is claiming asylum and that it is a humanitarian crisis, and we must let them in, then this will never end.”
The Texas congressman offered an alternative plan to the current method espoused by Democrats."What we should be doing is [taking] the world’s best and brightest …from around the world,” stated the congressman. “You know who’s a true asylum seeker? It’s a Venezuelan or Cuban that directly reaches the United States that doesn’t transit through any other countries. That’s a true asylum seeker. Or let’s say a North Korean, if they could somehow get out, because they need a safe harbor.”
Poverty, crime, and corrupt governments are often the causes of migrant workers leaving their home countries for new lands. Fallon acknowledged this idea, stating, “Unfortunately most countries in the world are [poor]. Why? Because they’re run by democratic socialists like the people we gotta deal with on the other side of the aisle.”
The conversation concerning immigration legislation is one that will take bipartisan agreement. However, it has become contentious with each side viewing the polarizing matter from very different angles.