Daily Caller

‘It Pains Me To Say This’: CNN’s Fareed Zakaria Says Trump Is Right About Asylum Crisis

Chuck Ross on July 2, 2019

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria is siding with President Donald Trump regarding the crisis facing the U.S.’s asylum system, which he said is being “gamed” by many asylum seekers.

“It pains me to say this, but he is right, that the United States faces a crisis with its asylum system,” Zakaria said of Trump on his show Sunday.

“A much larger fix is needed,” Zakaria argued. “The criteria for asylum need to be rewritten and substantially tightened.”

It is a surprising admission by Zakaria, whose network has been heavily critical of Trump and his administration’s handling of the migrant crisis at the southern border.

Democrats have assailed the administration over conditions at border facilities housing tens of thousands of Central American migrants. But as Zakaria notes, the system has been taxed by a skyrocketing number of asylum applications. He said that 162,000 asylum claims were submitted in 2018, more than 240 percent more than in 2014.

Zakaria noted that asylum was initially designed to help people fleeing regimes where they face persecution by their governments. But the standard has broadened over the years to include fears of street violence and domestic abuse threats, he said.

“These looser criteria coupled with the reality that this is a safe way to enter the U.S. have made the asylum system easy to abuse,” said Zakaria, who also noted that the murder rate in Central American countries that are home to a majority of asylum seekers has been cut in half in recent years.

That has led to a “staggering backlog” in immigration courts and at border facilities, the CNN host said. Both the Trump and Obama administrations have also used a “metering” system that limits how many asylum cases are reviewed at ports of entry.

A Salvadoran father and his child drowned in June while trying to cross the Rio Grande. The family was waiting in Mexico to having a meeting about their asylum claim, but the father, Óscar Alberto Martínez Ramírez, grew impatient and decided to cross the river. Democrats and many in the press seized on the tragedy to attack the Trump administration’s immigration policies, but it appears unlikely that Ramírez would have had a legitimate claim to asylum. His mother also told reporters that she warned him not to make the dangerous journey through Mexico to try to enter the U.S.

“It’s also clear that the rules surrounding asylum are vague, lax and being gamed,” said Zakaria.

“Some applicants for asylum have suspiciously similar stories using identical phrases. Many simply use the system to enter the U.S. and then melt into the shadows or gain a work permit while their application is pending,” he said.

Daily Caller

DCwire features investigative reporting syndicated with permission from the Daily Caller News Foundation.

View Comments

  • Here's the problem. Trump is like the boy who cried wolf so many times that no one knows when he is being credible!!

  • Very true!
    Dems knew arranging a flood of people at the border was a win win for them!
    Either the President lifted his closure on the border entries allowing them to invade us which would break his promise to secure and control the border..... OR he stands by his promise to secure the border and control immigration and runs the risk of over crowded detentions and humanitarian complaints!

    Denying him the funding to care for the illegals detained the Dems were able to assure the overcrowding condition reached maximum stressed just in time for the exaggerating, lying, scheming, AOC and the rest of the Congressional visitors to view and report false accusations of inhumane treatment of all detainees especially the children!
    Thankfully they are so insane with hatred, lies, and failed attacks that they were carelessly caught. by of all people a non-political priest attending the same tour with AOC!

    A lot of clean up is ahead to clear the harmful view caused by AOC and the Dem's conspiracy to destroy his presidency.
    But like the Russia probe his patience will see him victorious,
    As the smoke clears the insanity of the Dems will prove his innocence.
    Then once again the true villains will be seen!

    He deserves praise for not giving in to demands and ridicule, then turning into a tip toeing politician at this point guided only by concern of getting reelection instead of keeping his word to his supporters to control the borders and the influx of illegals!

  • The only part of his story that has been changed is his updates to the numbers at the border! Dems have fought him 1st say he was lying about the crisis, 2nd the crisis was created by him, and now that he is intentionally caging children after separating them from their parents. During his campaign he tried to tell people we had an immigration problem. But here is the one sentence from the story that pieces everything together and cannot be denied! “Some applicants for asylum have suspiciously similar stories using identical phrases." We were told more than a year ago that American groups were recruiting in the southern countries and passing out money to those willing to travel to and cross into the US. Those in the initial caravan recorded walking, hot, and exhausted in update videos were being transported to each way point on the journey. They were met in route numerous times by authorities and advised to seek asylum in Mexico as they would be turned away at the US border but the sponsors told them when they reach the border Trump would be removed then they could get in. They were coached on exactly what to say to be granted asylum and told bringing children improved the wait time to get in! Think about it these people are swarming here by the 1000s and when they finally reach the border regardless of which of the many languages that they spoke, the smoking gun of a conspiracy to damage the president was revealed by the same coached stories and phrases they used!

  • everyone knew. People just wanted power or other people to hate him. it is to late to fix. You cant go back in time

  • This is all Murder and abuse by the Democrats bid for power. They are terrorist they have no concerns or passion for the many abused from their attack on the united States by organizing this mass attack on America to support their gains of power and wealth

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