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Claims of Credible Fear Increase in Fiscal Year 2018

Release Date: 
December 10, 2018

Claims at Ports of Entry Increased by 121 Percent in FY2018

WASHINGTON - U.S. Customs and Border Protection today released statistics regarding claims of fear by those who are determined by CBP officers to be inadmissible at ports of entry or apprehended along the border by U.S. Border Patrol agents.

 In recent years, CBP has seen a significant increase in the number and percentage of aliens who seek admission or unlawfully enter the U.S. and then assert an intent to apply for asylum or a fear of persecution.

 “These numbers reflect a dramatic increase in initial fear claims by those encountered on the border, which is straining border security, immigration enforcement and courts, and other federal resources,” said Commissioner Kevin K. McAleenan. “As the majority of these claims will not be successful when they are adjudicated by an immigration court, we need Congress to act to address these vulnerabilities in our immigration system which continue to negatively impact border security efforts.”

 In Fiscal Year 2018, CBP law enforcement personnel on the Southwest Border reported 38,269 claims at ports of entry and another 54,690 claims between the ports, for a total 92,959. This represents a 67-percent increase in claims in Fiscal Year 2018 compared to FY2017, and a dramatic departure from 2000-2013, when fewer than 1 percent of those encountered by CBP initiated asylum claims.

 U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) adjudicates claims of fear originating from sources around the globe. Along the border, CBP encounters thousands of individuals who express a fear of being returned to their country of origin. CBP’s responsibility is to document the claim and initiate transfer to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to begin the asylum process.

Last modified: 
December 10, 2018