Critics say there's a secret password that allows immigrants access into the U.S., and one that can be uttered in a short phone interview in a process they say exposes border security to widespread fraud.
The word: Asylum.
"Almost anyone at all can call themselves an asylum seeker and get in. It's a global joke," said Kenneth Palinkas, president of the National Citizenship and Immigration Services Council. "It's not border security if anyone can recite the magic words and get waved right on in."
Under current policy, aliens caught crossing the border illegally can claim asylum, and with it receive authorization to work in the United States. Once a work permit is conferred , then comes a social security card and a variety of taxpayer funded benefits such as are Supplemental Security Income, SNAP/Food Stamps, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families, and Medicaid . Some of which even legal, permanent residents do not receive.