Skip to content


Chairman Green on New Asylum Rule: “Unserious, Politically Motivated Attempt to Address a Problem the Biden Administration Itself Created”

May 9, 2024

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– Today, House Committee on Homeland Security Chairman Mark E. Green, MD (R-TN) released the following statement after the Biden administration announced a new asylum rule, described by CBS News as “relatively narrow in scope,” that will ultimately have little to no impact on the flood of illegitimate asylum claims:
“This rule appears to be an unserious, politically motivated attempt to address a significant problem the Biden administration itself created. The proposed rule will only apply to illegal aliens who are believed to be either a national security or public safety threat. The rule will not impact or reduce the millions of illegitimate asylum claims being filed by economic migrants. The department currently cannot properly vet the vast majority of illegal aliens crossing the border, as numerous tragic reports from our communities make clear. The Biden administration, however, would have us believe that vetting under this rule will somehow be effective. 
“All that migrants will have to do is say the magic words to get to their credible fear interview. Nothing will change.”


Under President Biden and Secretary Mayorkas’ leadership, the asylum claims backlog has exploded, as illegal aliens have filed illegitimate claims at an unprecedented rate. Through the second quarter of FY21, the majority of which constituted the first months of the Biden administration, pending asylum claims, as well as those for a lesser form of relief known as “withholding of removal,” totaled 398,928. By the first quarter of FY24, the backlog had skyrocketed to 1.11 million. This rule would do nothing to address this backlog. 

Additionally, it is worth noting that in its “Circumvention of Lawful Pathways” rule issued last year, in which DHS purported to “restrict” asylum by making certain individuals ineligible, it included so many exceptions that it effectively rendered the “restrictions” meaningless. As one former senior DHS official pointed out, “this proposed rule starts with the exceptions swallowing the rule whole.” Just a few months later, Customs and Border Protection (CBP) recorded the most encounters at the Southwest border in the agency’s history.

Further, the rule ignores the fact that DHS simply cannot adequately vet the vast majority of illegal aliens crossing the border currently. First, given the historic number of daily crossings, Border Patrol agents routinely do not have the time to conduct such vetting to root out criminal backgrounds or possible security threats. They often can only rely on information already in U.S. databases or outward indicators, like gang tattoos. The second problem is that most countries do not maintain extensive criminal databases that DHS officials can query to determine an individual’s history. The third problem is that most countries, in particular those with whom the United States has fraught relationships like China, Venezuela, Cuba, and others, simply do not share the information they do have with the department. Finally, it fails to account for the fact that some individuals with “clean” records in their home countries can go on to commit preventable crimes once in the United States.

DHS’ own 2024 Homeland Threat Assessment makes the growing national security threat clear, stating, “Terrorists and criminal actors may exploit the elevated flow and increasingly complex security environment to enter the United States.” It is already public record that Biden and Mayorkas’ DHS has failed to properly vet individuals on the terrorist watchlist, or Terrorist Screening Data Set (TSDS). In June 2023, the DHS Office of Inspector General (OIG) released a shocking report showing that in April 2022, CBP officials had released an illegal alien on the terror watchlist into the country. According to the OIG, this potential terrorist was released before proper vetting was completed because, according to Border Patrol agents at the Yuma Centralized Processing Center, “the Yuma CPC was over capacity following an increase in apprehensions, which created pressure to quickly process migrants and decreased the time available to review each file.” In April, an Afghan illegal alien was found to be associated with the terrorist group Hezb-e-Islami a year after being released by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Most recently, an Uzbek illegal alien associated with ISIS, who had been apprehended and released by Border Patrol after crossing the border in Arizona, was arrested on May 1 after living in the country freely for two years. 

Other national security and public safety threats could be missed in the limited vetting process. In June 2023, Chief Patrol Agent Anthony “Scott” Good of the Border Patrol’s El Paso Sector, said that the unprecedented increase in border crossings by Chinese nationals causes him concern, saying, “It’s not the demographic that we normally see … Their agendas, their ideologies, the reason for them coming could be missed.” Last September, another chief patrol agent told our Committee in a transcribed interview that finding translators for agents to interview Chinese nationals was tricky, and interviews could take as long as seven hours. Unfortunately, new reports reveal Secretary Mayorkas’ DHS has instructed Border Patrol agents to reduce the number of vetting questions for Chinese nationals, from 40 to only five, in order to process these aliens into the interior quicker.

These factors combined have led to numerous tragic results over the course of the Biden administration:

  • In the spring of 2024, 20-year-old Marvin Dionel Perez Lopez, a Guatemalan illegal alien who crossed the border just a few months prior and was released with a court date set for 2027, kidnapped and raped an 11-year-old girl in Lake Worth, Florida. According to Palm Beach County Sheriff Ric Bradshaw, “The federal government is victimizing the people who live in this country by letting these people in here.”
  • In February 2024, 22-year-old Georgia nursing student Laken Riley was savagely murdered by Venezuelan national Jose Ibarra on the University of Georgia campus while out for a jog. Ibarra had been paroled into the country in the fall of 2022.

Criminal illegal aliens are even being released into the country because Border Patrol agents are unable to thoroughly vet them, with ICE only arresting them weeks, months, or years later, including: 

  • A Brazilian gang member and convicted murderer released in March 2023 and apprehended by ICE two months later;
  • A Venezuelan national paroled in April 2021, with a Venezuelan court four months later issuing a warrant for his arrest on multiple charges, including financing of terrorism. He remained free until his arrest by ICE in August 2023;
  • A Brazilian national wanted for aggravated homicide of a minor, who entered in May 2021, was released, and not arrested by ICE until October 2023; and
  • A Brazilian national wanted for attempted murder in his home country, released into the interior in March 2023 with a court date, and only arrested in May 2024.