Asylum Claims Jump Almost 70 Percent in 2018

By Shani Saxon Dec 11, 2018

There has been a dramatic rise in the number of migrants seeking asylum at the southwest border, according to new statistics released by the Department of Homeland of Security on Monday (December 10). 

According to the findings, announced by U.S. Customs and Border Protection and reported by CNN, "92,959 claims of credible fear" were made by migrants at the southern border in 2018, "compared to 55,584 claims made in fiscal year 2017." That represents a 67 percent jump in the number of asylum claims this year. DHS says those numbers include migrants who crossed at official ports of entry but were “inadmissible to enter the country,” and those who crossed into the United States without permission.

Kevin K. McAleenan, the CBP’s commissioner, released a statement saying these additional claims are stretching available resources. "These numbers reflect a dramatic increase in initial fear claims by those encountered on the border, which is straining border security, immigration enforcement and courts, and other federal resources," McAleenan said.

President Donald Trump signed a presidential proclamation on November 9 that sought to deny asylum to migrants who enter the country at sites other than official ports of entry. It stands in direct opposition to current U.S. law, which states that anyone is eligible for asylum no matter how or where they enter the country.