The Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, an integral portion of the Border Security and Enforcement Act, strengthens the asylum process, pushes back against abuses in the system, and ensures that asylum remains a viable, accessible pathway for those fleeing persecution
WASHINGTON— Yesterday, United States Representative Mike Johnson’s legislation, the Asylum Reform and Border Protection Act, passed the House Judiciary Committee and will be considered by the House as part of the Border Security and Enforcement Act of 2023.
Amid the ongoing humanitarian and logistical crisis created by the Biden Administration at the southern border, this bill provides essential reforms to reduce the current backlog of asylum cases, clarifies key definitions abused in frivolous asylum claims, and restores integrity to this central tenet of U.S. immigration law.
“The asylum process is a testament to America’s history as a beacon of hope, freedom, and opportunity for millions around the world. But our current system is fundamentally broken, and everyone in Washington knows it,” Rep. Johnson said. “Activist judges, liberal politicians, and human traffickers have preyed upon the benevolence of the U.S. immigration system, encouraging the filing of frivolous claims and ‘gaming’ of the system to gain illegal entry. All members of Congress actually committed to solving our border crisis should support this legislation, and I look forward to its consideration on the House floor.”
Excerpts from Rep. Johnson’s Opening Statement:
“Providing refuge for individuals fleeing persecution has been a central tenet of U.S. immigration law for decades. The asylum process itself is a testament to America’s history as a beacon of hope, freedom, and opportunity for millions around the world.
“Unfortunately, drug cartels, activist judges, human smuggling operations, the open borders lobby, and radical, liberal administrations have worked in tandem to undermine the integrity of the U.S. immigration system.
“Today, we will hear lots of fear-mongering from the other side. We will witness much hand-wringing and name-calling. We will hear accusations that Republicans are anti-immigrant and inhumane. We will hear grandiose pronouncements that Democrats are pro-immigrant and pro-humanitarian values. All of this will be to distract the American people from the reality of the Biden Administration’s border crisis.
“The American people will not wait any longer. We have to further strengthen the asylum process, we have to push back against fraud, and we have to ensure that asylum remains a viable, accessible pathway for those fleeing persecution.”
- The bill enforces international agreements by making ineligible for asylum aliens who have transited through at least one safe third country en route to the United States.
- The bill applies a heightened credible fear standard of “more likely than not” that an alien could establish eligibility for asylum versus the current, lower “significant possibility” standard to discourage frivolous claims.
- The bill also defines “membership in a particular social group,” “political opinion,” and “persecution” to promote consistency in immigration court rulings.
Read the legislation here.
Congressman Johnson is the Vice Chairman of the House Republican Conference, a member of the House Judiciary and Armed Services Committees, and a former constitutional law litigator.