CNN’s Fareed Zakaria says Trump was right about asylum system, ‘pains me to say’

Fareed Zakaria, the CNN anchor, on Sunday said it “pains” him to admit it, but President Trump was correct that the U.S. finds itself in a crisis with asylum system and the number of new arrivals.

The host of “Fareed Zakaria GPS,” was also critical of asylum rules that he called “vague, laxed and being gamed.” Zakaria said asylum was initially intended for a small number of people in the most extreme circumstances, not as a process of immigration in itself. He said the rules need to be “substantially tightened."

He pointed out that “many” current asylum-seekers often have “suspiciously similar stories” and employ “identical phrases.”

“Democrats have spent most of their efforts on this topic, assailing the Trump administration for its heartlessness,” he said. “Fine. But that does not address the roots of this genuine crisis. If things continue to spiral downward and America's southern border seems out of control, Trump's tough rhetoric and hard-line stance will become increasingly attractive to the public.”

A  federal judge in Seattle on Tuesday blocked a Trump administration policy that would keep thousands of asylum-seekers locked up while they pursue their cases, saying the Constitution demands that such migrants have a chance to be released from custody.

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The Justice Department did not immediately return an email seeking comment from the AP, but the government was expected to quickly appeal the decision.

The Associated Press contributed to this report