SAN DIEGO (Border Report) — About 80 percent of asylum-seekers who come to the United States are being rejected and sent back home, according to Luis Miranda, Assistant Secretary for Communications with the Department of Homeland Security.
“In general, most of the people who arrived in the United States during the last three years have been deported, expelled or returned to Mexico,” Miranda said during a video news conference on Wednesday afternoon.
He stated those who could not be immediately sent back face removal proceedings that can take years.
“Asylum-seekers are allowed to remain in the U.S. during the legal process but cannot obtain work permits,” he said.
Miranda also stressed that asylum is for those who have been persecuted, belong to vulnerable populations, or are discriminated against for their sexual orientation or preference, and religious or political beliefs.
“It has to be a direct persecution,” he said. “Asylum doesn’t exist for those fleeing or traveling for economic reasons or due to general violence where they live. Asylum is determined by the courts, and it varies depending on the case.”
Miranda said although work permits aren’t necessarily granted, people whose case are making their way through the courts can request one.
“But they can’t get any government aid,” he said. “The CBP One app will continue to function as the way to set up appointments for initial interviews and screenings.”
These appointments allow migrants to enter the U.S. at ports of entry to begin their asylum claims.
If they can prove they have a credible case, they are allowed to stay north of the border and given court dates to start the legal case.
Miranda said unless a judge grants asylum, those who unlawfully cross the border between ports of entry will not qualify for work permits and will not receive government assistance or access to public-help programs.