“The truth is that the politics and policies of open borders have failed the American people. Our broken system endures, and the ongoing humanitarian and security crisis at our Southwest Border leaves many minors and families at extreme risk of being exploited by traffickers, human smugglers, gangs, and other nefarious actors seeking to profit at their expense. … Activist courts, congressional inaction, and criminals intent on breaking our laws stand in the way of confronting illegal and uncontrolled migration threatening our safety and security. What was a crisis, is now a full-fledged emergency.” (Kristjen Nielsen, Department of Homeland Security )
The Statistics speak for themselves:
According to the Customs and Border Protection Office, over 75,000 people were apprehended attempting to cross the US southern border in the month of February 2019. This is a 30% increase from the month of January 2019, and an 80% increase from the month of February 2018. To put this into a tangible perspective; the city of Bismarck North Dakota has a population of 72,856 (US Census Bureau).
In the span of 28 days, a population the size of an entire midsize city attempted to cross our border.
And, those are just the ones we apprehended.
It goes without saying that many more made it across unknown and undetected by the often overworked, understaffed, and under equipped border agents. The following story was highlighted by the Washington Post on March 5, 2019:
An attractive job market in the United States is prompting more Central Americans to leave the poverty and insecurity of their home countries and head north, typically in groups of one parent and one child. Such pairings all but ensure the family will be processed quickly and released from U.S. custody in a matter of days.
Why is this happening?
I would argue the current interpretation and legislation regarding the Flores Settlement combined with the current laws regarding Unaccompanied Minors, and those that sponsor them are two of the central sentiments enticing thousands to break into our country and enter illegally.
The article continues:
U.S. court restrictions on the government’s ability to keep children in immigration jails — and the sheer volume of people arriving — have left Homeland Security agencies defaulting increasingly to the overflow model Trump deplores as “catch-and-release.”
It was the first time many of the migrants had been on an airplane. For Dionel Martinez, it was the second.
The 48-year-old Guatemalan came to the United States three decades earlier, working as a landscaper until he was deported — his only other time on a plane.
“We’re going to Pennsylvania,” he said. A friend had arranged a job at a pizzeria there.
With the savings from his first stint in the United States as a young man, Martinez was able to buy some land in his home country and start a family. But a drought this year had left them hungry.
“There was no harvest,” he said. “Not one grain of corn.”
His son Darwin, 13, came with him to the United States this time. The boy fainted during the journey, his father said, when they had to stand for hours in the back of a cattle truck.
Martinez said he paid 30,000 Guatemalan quetzals, about $2,500, to a “coyote” smuggling guide. It was a cheap rate, but it meant that he and his son traveled through Mexico in trucks, like cargo.
Across rural Guatemala, Martinez said, word has spread that those who travel with a child can expect to be released from U.S. custody. Smugglers were offering two-for-one pricing, knowing they just needed to deliver clients to the border — not across it — for an easy surrender to U.S. agents.
“If this continues, I don’t think there will be anyone left in Guatemala,” Martinez joked. The men from his village near the town of Chiquimula were all leaving, he said, bringing a child with them.
Let That Sink In.
Those from Guatemala jubilantly joke about how “no one will be left in their villages” because they are all leaving poverty, with a child in tow, and heading North to America. They are admittedly coming here to take advantage of a system that will quickly process them and put them into the country, releasing them into an underground working population where they will live and work in the shadows. Often this segment of the population does not pay any taxes on the money they earn, and instead they send it home to be spent in their own country’s economy.
The children they bring will be educated by our public school system, at a cost to the tax paying American of almost 30 million dollars a year (CIS). In many cases, despite their illegal status, the entire family unit will be eligible for Medicaid, at a recent estimated annual cost of 29 million dollars.
I would like to insert a caveat. I care as much as anyone about those that live in impoverished conditions. In fact, I would not be opposed to helping those in need. Helping them in their own countries. I would be in favor of helping them with programs that really work, such as helping them to become self –sufficient with farming skills, or labor skills.
Quite frankly, in the recent spending bill the U.S. awarded the economically stable state of Israel 38 billion dollars. I would not at all be opposed to investing some of that funding into the economic sustainability of our neighboring southern neighbors. Yet, simply handing out more money disguised as aid, in top heavy “programs” where all of the NGO’s line their own pockets with tax payer dollars, with no tangible results to be seen from our investment is not an answer. And, it could be argued that with our current “immigration system” that is exactly what we are doing.
What is the current system, and how is it set up to fail?
According to a recent well written article at the
Center of Immigration Studies, the three main culprits that are allowing and even
encouraging those who would like to enter the US illegally are:
- The Flores Settlement
- The Current Iteration of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA).
- Deficiencies in the Credible Fear System
The Flores Settlement:
The history of this settlement extends to 1985, when activist groups filed lawsuits against the federal government with the presumption that unaccompanied minors were being abused while in government custody (Jenny Flores was one of the alleged victims of this abuse). When a settlement was reached, the results stipulated:
- UAC policy asserted that the federal government must maintain separate detention centers for minors.
- Additionally, it has been further asserted, that no UAC can be held in government custody for longer than 20 days.
The Current Iteration of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Re-authorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA):
One could argue that the TVPRA is one of the final nails of destruction for any protection from those who seek to abuse the generosity of our immigration system. When the TVPRA was signed it codified several concerning entities into law:
- Under the TVPRA any unaccompanied minor who enters the US from any country (aside from Canada or Mexico) must be treated with the same standards as those minors who are trafficking victims; even if they have not been victims of trafficking and do not have a credible fear claim.
- ORR statistics reveal that the average length of time that a UAC remained in that office’s care in FY 2018 was 60 days, in one of 100 shelters that HHS operates in 17 states.
- Between February 2014 and September 2015, 56,000 (80 percent) of the children were placed with sponsors illegally in the United States and an additional 700 were placed with sponsors in deportation proceedings. Just to reiterate; we are placing unaccompanied children with illegal aliens who are currently here.
It is relevant to point the omnibus spending bill directly supports the above the assertion. Section 224 states that no funding will be used to complete or enact any removal proceedings for ANY potential sponsor or sponsor of a UAC. This effectively rewards any “potential sponsor of an UAC” with instant and unquestionable amnesty:
SEC. 224. (a) None of the funds provided by this Actor any other Act, or provided from any accounts in the Treasury of the United States derived by the collection of fees available to the components funded by this Act, may be used by the Secretary of Homeland Security to place in detention, remove, refer for a decision whether to initiate removal proceedings, or initiate removal proceedings against a sponsor, potential sponsor, or member of a household of a sponsor or potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien child (as defined in section 462 (g) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(g))) based on information shared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.
Deficiencies in the Credible Fear System:
Those apprehended crossing our southern border not at a port of entry are, by law, intended to be “expeditiously removed” from the United States with no immigration hearing granted. However, if those individuals claim asylum after being caught, they are then screened for “credible fear.” This is a very subjective process and only requires that the alien produce a verbal indication of fear, they are not required to show any proof to back up their claims.
If the credible fear interview establishes a claim, and in 2018, 88.5 % of all aliens claiming credible fear were found to meet the standards to be granted a hearing in front an immigration judge.
This process sets the following results into motion:
- 75% of all aliens fail to appear in court after they are set free to await trial ( this number includes those here illegally, as well as those who have overstayed their visa’S-DHS in conjunction with ICE) .
- Of those that do appear for an asylum hearing, only 10% are found to have a valid case (DHS).
With only 25% percent of aliens returning for court after being released into the interior of the country, claiming asylum is a virtual lottery for those desiring entry into our country.
What Must Be Done?
In conclusion, I would argue, there numerous solutions that could be applied to solve, or at least mitigate this situation among the many possibilities are: E- verify, cutting all access to social welfare programs for those here illegally, or forcing those claiming asylum to wait in Mexico or even their home country for their case to be heard, all seem like viable options.
However, our legislators are opting to do nothing. They are simply watching as the rising costs to our country of the consistent barrage of illegal aliens continues to mount. Americans continue to be victims of crimes committed by those who are here illegally commit. Americans continue to be charged ever increasing taxes to offset the cost of the services illegal aliens consume, Americans continue to watch the job markets for manual labor positions dwindle, as illegals flood across our border to fill the jobs that our most financially venerable citizens depend on.
I Ask You….
How many US citizens have to die? How many jobs must be lost? How many tax dollars are we willing to pay to ensure the well being of those who have no legal right to be in our country?
When will we, as a country, say enough?
When will we say no more?