The page two article from the Associated Press on Nov. 24 (“Tougher US asylum policy follows in Europe’s footsteps”) was probably educational for most readers, as the average American citizen knows very little about immigration realities.

Early on, the article described the journey of an unnamed Honduran who sought asylum in the U.S. but was returned to Guatemala and told to apply for asylum there. However once back in Guatemala, he chose, instead, to return to Honduras.

If he’d really been endangered in Honduras, then he could have attained safety in Guatemala, instead of merely transiting it enroute to the land of milk and honey (the U.S.). So for our Honduran, it was either "asylum in the U.S." or "never mind." In other words, his claim for asylum was fraudulent, and he was merely another migrant from the Third World who wanted to live in a First World country.

The Associated Press’s writer summarized the essential criterion well: “Asylum is designed for people fleeing persecution based on their race, religion, nationality, political beliefs or membership in a social group. It isn’t intended for people who migrate for economic reasons, but many consider it their best hope of escaping poverty and violence.”

This Honduran’s phony case for asylum is more the rule than the exception. Other recent news drives the point home in wholesale fashion: In October, the El Paso Times reported that among some 15,000 non-Mexicans stalled in Juarez while seeking asylum in the U.S., about 5,000 “have gone back to their home countries,” demonstrating that they weren’t genuine candidates for asylum in the first place.

Nonetheless we should let such seekers in? If we were to do that, the resulting tsunami of poverty-stricken populations would turn the U.S. itself into a dysfunctional Third World nation in short order.

Paul Nachman

Bozeman