Sen. Susan Collins, R-Maine, leaves a policy luncheon, on Feb., 17, 2022, on Capitol Hill in Washington. Credit: Jacquelyn Martin / AP

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Sen. Susan Collins recently introduced a bill in Congress to reduce the waiting time for asylum seekers to qualify for work authorization, from the current 365 days to 30 days. This is a terrible idea. These are asylum “seekers,” who have passed a basic screening evaluation at the border and have been paroled into the country pending the results of a hearing before an immigration judge.

Information from the Executive Office for Immigration Review, a division of the Department of Justice, indicates that only  10 to 15 percent of asylum seekers will be granted asylum. I think it makes no sense to admit these migrants with such a low expected approval rate. Those reports also show many not even applying for asylum within the one year sign up period, or not appearing for their court date, many receiving a removal order in absentia.

This proposal comes from elected officials who have taken an oath to uphold the Constitution of the United States, and to respect its laws. So much for integrity.

There is a  more than 1.4 million backlog of cases to be heard and, at the rate of  approximately 200,000 per year, it will take seven years to hear a case of someone who applies today.

What motivates Sen. Collins to file such an unworkable bill? She should reverse course, and propose a solution similar to the  Migrant Protection Protocol of the Trump administration, with cases decided before asylees are allowed entry into the country.

Robert Casimiro

Bridgton