Oh, man! CNN’s Fareed Zakaria totally dismantled the Dem position on asylum seekers during the opening monologue of his show on Sunday.

Highlights:

  • “It pains me to say this, but [President Trump] is right that the United States faces a crisis with its asylum system”
  • “The average immigration case has been pending for more than 700 days”
  • “The rules surrounding asylum are vague, lax and being gamed”
  • “Some applicants for asylum have suspiciously similar stories using identical phrases”
  • “Many simply use the system to enter the U.S. and melt into the shadows”
  • “Asylum is meant to be granted to a very small number of people in extreme circumstances, not as a substitute for the process of immigration itself.”

WATCH:

He’s a “brown Steve Bannon”? LOLOLOLOL:

More from his WaPost op-ed:

And boom:

These looser criteria, coupled with the reality that it is a safe way to enter the United States, have made the asylum system easy to abuse. Applications from Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans have surged even though the murder rate in their countries has been cut in half. More broadly, hundreds of millions of people around the world who live in poor, unstable regions where threats of violence abound could apply for asylum. Do they all have the legal right to enter the United States through a back door, bypassing the normal immigration process?

The Trump administration’s approach has been mostly trying to toughen up the criteria, hire more judges and push Mexico to keep applicants from entering the United States. Some toughening is essential. For example, the loophole that allows applicants to work while their claim is pending has simply created perverse incentives.

But a much larger fix is needed. The criteria for asylum need to be rewritten and substantially tightened. The number of courts and officials dealing with asylum must be massively expanded. (According to former immigration official David Martin, today’s crisis has its roots in the budgetary cuts of the mid-Obama years, which starved the government of resources to process asylum applicants quickly.) People should not be able to use asylum claims as a way to work in the United States. There needs to be much greater cooperation with the home countries of these applicants rather than insults, threats and aid freezes. No one fix will do it, but we need the kind of sensible bipartisan legislation that has resolved past immigration crises.

Over to you, Dems.

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