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POLITICS: PennAve

Bob Goodlatte: Obama administration to blame for spike in asylum requests

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White House,Virginia,Steve Contorno,Immigration,Barack Obama,PennAve,Border Security

The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee accused the Obama administration Wednesday of not doing enough to prevent the growing number of foreigners entering the United States by seeking asylum.

In a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano, Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., warned that foreigners, particularly from Mexico, are exploiting a law that allows those with a "credible fear" of persecution in their own country to enter the U.S. The number of immigrants entering the U.S. under that asylum provision has quadrupled over the past four years to more than 19,000, according to federal immigration services.

Goodlatte intends to hold hearings to investigate the issue and called on Homeland Security personnel to testify. The Republican lawmaker, who has become a point man on immigration reform in the House, accused the administration of taking a lax position toward foreigners who claim asylum and allowing individuals into the country without first investigating their claims of persecution.

“Once again the administration has chosen to turn the immigration enforcement switch off in a manner contrary to the intent of Congress, by simply enforcing the immigration laws when, where and as it is deemed fit,” Goodlatte wrote. “Such actions are the primary reason why our immigration system is broken today.”

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