Georgia Representative Hank Johnson, a Democrat, stated on September 27 that individuals coming into the United States via the southern border are not engaging in unlawful actions. When pressed for further explanation, Johnson clarified that they are simply pursuing political asylum while situated at the border. These remarks were made by the Democratic representative despite overwhelming statistical evidence indicating a surge in unauthorized entries into the country.
In an interview conducted at Capitol Hill with Fox News, the representative was questioned regarding the migrant situation, with specific emphasis on the daily influx of 10,000 migrants entering the United States through unauthorized means. In response, he asserted that these individuals were not engaging in illegal border crossings. Instead, he contended that they were opting for the legal asylum process.
As per the guidance provided by the American Immigration Council, individuals seeking asylum are required to substantiate their claims of having endured persecution in their countries of origin or harboring a well-founded apprehension of future persecution. Various reports have indicated that a significant number of migrants arriving in the United States are fleeing their home nations due to economic crises, a circumstance that may not meet the criteria for asylum eligibility.
In response to inquiries on this matter, Johnson conveyed to Fox News that this very situation underscores the necessity for comprehensive immigration reform in the country. He advocated for the expansion of legal avenues for entry into the United States. Johnson underscored that, presently, seeking asylum remains one of the few available legal routes for many migrants.
Furthermore, the Georgia representative placed responsibility for the ongoing migrant crisis on the Republican Party, contending that its leaders have been resistant to pursuing comprehensive immigration reform. He asserted that this stance has led to a situation in which individuals seeking economic opportunities in the country have limited legal pathways to do so.
Johnson additionally underscored what he deemed as a striking irony in the current situation, noting that the United States stands to benefit from the labor of many individuals seeking entry, which could bolster the nation’s economy. He emphasized that a comprehensive reform is the sole means to address the large influx of migrants approaching the border.
However, it’s important to acknowledge that while Johnson presents this perspective, there are multiple states experiencing the repercussions of the border crisis, even as he disputes the characterization of the situation.