New York - If migrants are already safe in another country, why shouldn’t they apply for asylum there before coming to the United States and applying here? That’s the perfectly sound logic behind a rule Team Trump put in place Monday: Migrants who pass through another country will be ineligible for US asylum unless they’ve first sought it, unsuccessfully, in that third country.
Those US immigration courts now face a backlog of 900,000 cases and growing. As Barr put it, “The United States is a generous country but is being completely overwhelmed.”
Fact is, US asylum laws, as President Trump often notes, are wildly abused: A huge share of these migrants are coming here for economic reasons — they can earn far more with even a low-end job in America than they can back home — than out of any particular fear.
Even with lax asylum rules, courts wind up denying 80 percent of the requests — eventually. Yet the backlog ensures that this can take years.
By then, many applicants have families, jobs and obligations here. Often, they don’t even bother to show for their cases. Most wind up staying.
All of which makes US borders virtually meaningless — and a mockery of the law.