WaPo: White House was warned two years ago of growing border crisis — but dismissed it as a “local problem”

posted at 3:21 pm on July 21, 2014 by Allahpundit

In case you missed it this weekend, make amends now. We already knew that the White House was warned years ago about a surge of illegal immigrant children at the border: It was Rick Perry, in fact, who warned them. But pitting Perry against O is a bad way to frame Obama’s negligence here, as it suggests to the uninformed that fingers are pointing at the White House for partisan reasons.

They aren’t.

The administration did too little to heed those warnings, according to interviews with former government officials, outside experts and immigrant advocates, leading to an inadequate response that contributed to this summer’s escalating crisis.

Federal officials viewed the situation as a “local problem,” said Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief who led the UTEP study. The research, conducted last year, was funded by the Department of Homeland Security and published in March. A broader crisis was “not on anyone’s radar,” Manjarrez added, even though “it was pretty clear this number of kids was going to be the new baseline.”…

But top officials at the White House and the State Department had been warned repeatedly of the potential for a further explosion in the number of migrant children since the crisis began escalating two years ago, according to former federal officials and others familiar with internal discussions. The White House was directly involved in efforts in early 2012 to care for the children when it helped negotiate a temporary shelter at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio.

“There were warning signs, operational folks raising red flags to high levels in terms of this being a potential issue,” said one former senior federal law enforcement official, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to talk candidly about internal operations.

The number of children from Central America who crossed the border illegally went from just shy of 4,000 in 2011 to just shy of … 21,000 in 2013. Ninety thousand are projected to arrive through the first nine months of this year. There are signs recently, per the NYT, that the rate is slowing — bus drivers in Mexico report fewer passengers and the Border Patrol isn’t apprehending quite as many kids each day as they were over the past few months — although it’s hard to say why. Maybe Central American countries are doing a better job of stopping people from leaving without authorization; maybe the U.S. PR campaign there discouraging people from coming is starting to work. WaPo flags an interesting tidbit, though, in noting that many illegals have told the Border Patrol that they thought, for some strange reason, that the U.S. was granting “permisos” to children until June 2014. Now that June has come and gone, so has some of the crush of illegals. But how’d they get that crazy idea about the timeline? Well, June happened to be the month that DHS announced that DREAMers who qualified for Obama’s 2012 executive amnesty (a.k.a. DACA) could renew their eligibility for two more years. Somehow, the word may have filtered back to Central America that that meant newly arrived illegals could also register for DACA. (They can’t — yet.) In other words, DACA was encouraging new illegal immigration, albeit on a mistaken assumption about the law. Remember that when Obama eventually decides to expand DACA to five million adult illegals here too.

But wait a sec. If the White House knew about this problem two years ago, why didn’t they coordinate with Central American governments to address it then? Apparently, some of the new deterrents are working. They could have stopped the border crisis in its infancy.

Any theories? Any thoughts on why Obama didn’t consider it a priority to enforce the border in, ahem, 2012?

Meanwhile, top officials focused much of their attention on political battles, such as Obama’s 2012 reelection campaign and the push to win congressional support for a broad immigration overhaul, that would have been made more difficult with the addition of a high-profile border crisis…

“Was the White House told there were huge flows of Central Americans coming? Of course they were told. A lot of times,’’ said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity to discuss internal deliberations. “Was there a general lack of interest and a focus on the legislation? Yes, that’s where the focus was.’’

Not only did Obama ignore Perry’s letter in May 2012, he signed DACA just a month later, on June 15. At a moment when he could have, and should have, acted quickly to slow the flow of illegal immigration, he turned around instead and created a massive incentive for it. And he did it, of course, because he was desperate to pander to Latino voters, whose support he needed to stop Romney in November. The irony is that, by ignoring the nascent border crisis then, he made it possible for the politics of immigration reform to grow so hot now that a big amnesty deal is off the table for yet another year. Maybe he prefers it that way since he can always issue a mega-DACA order later and effectively legalize everyone else who’s here, potentially an even more effective pander to Latinos than DACA itself was, but there’s lots of backlash potential in that and his pro-amnesty fans on the left might not be satisfied with anything short of legislation. Had he stopped this crisis before it really started, Boehner and the other GOP reform supporters would have a freer hand to defy the rest of the caucus and make a deal. Oh well. Wait ’til next year.


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Obama voting “present”…again.

kingsjester on July 21, 2014 at 3:23 PM

“Local” to him is the US. Remember he was the WORLD’S President.

Oil Can on July 21, 2014 at 3:24 PM

It’s a local crime story, like Gosnell.

Doughboy on July 21, 2014 at 3:24 PM

The WaPo? Oh boy are they in trouble.

Ward Cleaver on July 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Everyone says Clinton was the Teflon President. May I present Obama, absolutely nothing sticks to him, even stuff he is directly 100% responsible for. He makes Teflon look obsolete!

Johnnyreb on July 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Between the Putin non-outrage, the blame Israel comments, the casual oh-by-the-way IRS story and now this, the pretense is finally dropping away. America can now see what the administration sold them in the last couple of elections. The only question is, will it make an impact?

MTF on July 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM

What difference does it make anyway?

darwin on July 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM

The Nation is turning into California…

… Enjoy people!

Seven Percent Solution on July 21, 2014 at 3:26 PM

Watch it AP….you’re sounding like Palin more and more.

“Obama Knew of Border “Crisis” Prior to Reelection; Lied About That, Too!
The Washington Post has a bombshell article out about how “top officials at the White House and the State Department had repeatedly been warned of the potential for a further explosion in the number of migrant children since the crisis began escalating two years ago.”

The White House didn’t want to deal with the issue because they were focused on Obama’s 2012 reelection and the push for amnesty, and this burgeoning crisis didn’t look good for the President politically. So they willfully ignored it and in fact actively stoked it when Obama issued his own version of the DREAM Act by executive fiat, which led the illegal immigrants to believe they would be granted amnesty.

Here are the two questions Congress needs to demand answers to: What did the President know and when did he know it?

You may recall that those questions were asked of another President who was also the subject of a Washington Post expose.

- Sarah Palin”

tencole on July 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

Unless it directly and physically impacts today’s tee time or tonight’s fundraiser, everything is a “local problem” to our current government.

Lance Corvette on July 21, 2014 at 3:29 PM

There are signs recently, per the NYT, that the rate is slowing — bus drivers in Mexico report fewer passengers and the Border Patrol isn’t apprehending quite as many kids each day as they were over the past few months — although it’s hard to say why. Maybe Central American countries are doing a better job of stopping people from leaving without authorization; maybe the U.S. PR campaign there discouraging people from coming is starting to work.

Maybe those Border Patrol agents are too busy changing diapers to apprehend illegals.

blammm on July 21, 2014 at 3:30 PM

Wait til the White House finds out the White House dismissed the growing border crisis as a local problem.

LetsBfrank on July 21, 2014 at 3:31 PM

21,000 children that are being kept from returning home… at the point of a gun?

Isn’t that child abuse?

faraway on July 21, 2014 at 3:33 PM

Obama is Kevorkian on a nation wide scale.

VorDaj on July 21, 2014 at 3:35 PM

WaPo comment time!

First up, an O’bama Cultist who gives him a pass on this, by quoting George Washington:

The bosom of America is open to receive not only the Opulent and respectable Stranger, but the oppressed and persecuted of all Nations and Religions; whom we shall welcome to a participation of all our rights and privileges

George Washington

Same troll is soon back for more:

America was indebted to immigration for her settlement and prosperity. That part of America which had encouraged them most had advanced most rapidly in population, agriculture and the arts.

James Madison

“Mommy, make it go away!”

Shall we refuse the unhappy fugitives from distress that hospitality which the savages of the wilderness extended to our fathers arriving in this land? Shall oppressed humanity find no asylum on this globe?

Thomas Jefferson

Same troll then tries to shift the blame again, using the here and now:

If we had all this “warning” for so long…

A) Why is it Rick Perry did nothing about it? Why did he not bring this to the attention of the Texas public? Other than signing a letter that someone else wrote two years ago, a letter that only came to light within the last week or so, we haven’t heard a peep out of Rick on this issue until AFTER President Obama identified it as a humanitarian crisis.

and

B) Why is it that as recently as a few weeks ago, Republican politicians have been clamoring to shift resources AWAY from the border to the interior of the country?

(Wasn’t aware Rick Perry was the Governor of Texas and Arizona and California!)

And you just knew this was coming-it’s All Bush’s Fault!

It kind of matches the Bush Administration’s ‘weakness’ on immigration, when we had a much higher influx of unauthorized new Americans; as well as its ‘weakness’ on foreign policy when we suffered direct attacks on New York City and Washington, DC.

And don’t forget Reagan!

Which kind of matches the Reagan Administration’s weakness … immigration … Beirut marines barracks …

By the way, I find it hilarious that on July 21, when we are already something like 4 months into Daylight Savings Time, that the WaPo comments section is still time-stamping the posts in Eastern Standard Time.

“MY BRAIN HURTS!”

Del Dolemonte on July 21, 2014 at 3:36 PM

Reelection was more important than anything…Benghazi was caused by a Youtube video….

d1carter on July 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM

MSNBC, New York Times Headlines:

“Washington Post adopts extreme Right Wing rhetoric: Makes baseless accusations about White House ‘knowing’ about immigration issues two years ago.”

orangemtl on July 21, 2014 at 3:37 PM

I’ve always suspected the Dems don’t want a resolution to the immigration reform issue, because every election year they make a stink about it and then just throw a bone to the illegals, a la #WaronWomen.

juliesa on July 21, 2014 at 3:40 PM

“Local crime story.”

Good Lt on July 21, 2014 at 3:41 PM

The last time we faced such a dire international situation was when President Carter drove our power and prestige into the ground. It took Ronald Reagan years to restore them. It’s going to take equally strong, unapologetic leadership to bring us back once again. This time, however, it will be an even more difficult job, because unlike Mr. Carter, Mr. Obama has wrecked the U.S. superpower on purpose. And he has two terms to finish the job.

The thug owns it, and rejoices. He was just caught too soon.

On the kids, the leftist thugs always feed on carrion.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 3:41 PM

And all those guns shipped to the cartels… now being used against us.

Gee, like we didn’t see that one coming years ago.

ajacksonian on July 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM

All traitors of the Land of Laws, the hottest place in Hell will not be hot enough for all of you.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM

When somehow, someday – either with divine aid, or some help from aliens – a conservative government is formed, they will have to legalize hemp just to deal with those who are now running the country. The solution to the crisis doesn’t grow on trees – YET.

Rix on July 21, 2014 at 3:42 PM

The Feds saw it as a feature, not a bug.

Everyone says Clinton was the Teflon President. May I present Obama, absolutely nothing sticks to him, even stuff he is directly 100% responsible for. He makes Teflon look obsolete!

Johnnyreb on July 21, 2014 at 3:25 PM

Plenty sticks to him, just look at his negatives.

The press just doesn’t call him on any of it.

formwiz on July 21, 2014 at 3:43 PM

Wait til the White House finds out the White House dismissed the growing border crisis as a local problem.

LetsBfrank on July 21, 2014 at 3:31 PM

They might be reading about it in tomorrow’s Washington Post….

Even when trying to leverage political expediency and advantages, this Administration is feckless and vapid.

In their desire to create a crisis to pressure the GOP to enact ‘comprehensive’ immigration reform, they’ve created an environment that exposed their ‘comprehensive’ reform as little more than pandering and about as successfully ‘comprehensive’ as the EpicClusterFark is a successful comprehensive healthcare reform.

All of this is about Democrat pandering for the Hispanic vote, for taking another major step towards enacting Cloward / Piven, and creating an identity based wedge issue against those conservatives who see immigration reform being done in stages, starting with establishing truly effective border security.

Athos on July 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM

The reason these kids are here.

Issued in August of 2013, the policy is called the “Family Interest Directive,” and it essentially forbids Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents from deporting, arresting or even detaining any illegal immigrant who is the caretaker of a child. That includes parents, legal guardians and even unrelated adults who merely claim they care for the child in question.

faraway on July 21, 2014 at 3:44 PM

Yup, Dear Leader is going to stay out of town as much as possible…he got to be with his peeps..

d1carter on July 21, 2014 at 3:45 PM

21,000 children that are being kept from returning home… at the point of a gun?

Isn’t that child abuse?

faraway on July 21, 2014 at 3:33 PM

One kid..one..Elian Gonzalez was taken at the point of a gun and forced to return to his country of origin, even though living with relatives.
Thousands/millions of illegals invading this country now?? No big whoop..put it on the credit card and shut up racists.

Mimzey on July 21, 2014 at 3:45 PM

Dang. Racist tea party conservatives took over the Washington Post, who knew.

22044 on July 21, 2014 at 3:46 PM

Ninety thousand are projected to arrive through the first nine months of this year. There are signs recently, per the NYT, that the rate is slowing — bus drivers in Mexico report fewer passengers and the Border Patrol isn’t apprehending quite as many kids each day as they were over the past few months — although it’s hard to say why

…BS! the Border Patrol is too busy taking care of the kids…too keep track!

JugEarsButtHurt on July 21, 2014 at 3:47 PM

Note how the oaf, who’s chief, had to talk for a few seconds today, to divert from the Perry News of the Day.

But, “no photo ops”

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 3:49 PM

There are signs recently, per the NYT, that the rate is slowing — bus drivers in Mexico report fewer passengers and the Border Patrol isn’t apprehending quite as many kids each day as they were over the past few months — although it’s hard to say why.

Very hot right now, literally and politically. It’ll pick up.

Btw, they are not “illegal immigrants”. They are illegal all right. They are “children and lots of people, myriad of them Indians, from India, who entered the US illegally.

ISIS will enter too and all hell will display.

obama owns it all.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 3:52 PM

This invasion was ORCHESTRATED by Obama via a conspiracy with Mexico FOR OVER A YEAR, and the U.S. embassy BRAGS about it:

http://mexico.usembassy.gov/press-releases/embassy-statement5/embassy-statement.html

Embassy Statement

Mexico City, July 08, 2014 – We applaud yesterday’s announcement by Mexican President Enrique Pena Nieto regarding Mexico’s strategy for its southern border. The Mexican government has been working on this strategy for more than a year, and has routinely briefed the U.S. government on Mexico’s objectives….

Objective #1 of the plan announced the day before: TRANSIT visas, not residency visas, for anyone crossing into Mexico via its southern border. Effectively colluding with a foreign nation to arrange an invasion of our own country!! TREASON!

http://www.eluniversal.com.mx/nacion-mexico/2014/impreso/mexico-y-guatemala-protegeran-a-migrantes-216921.html

(Google translation:)

..To encourage formal access to Mexico to obtain the card Regional Away Guatemalans and Belizeans for free and with which the wearer can enter up to 72 hours to the states of Campeche, Chiapas, Quintana Roo and Tabasco be provided. Agents of the National Migration Institute (INM) and other authorities should ensure full respect for the rights of cardholders…

And last Thursday, in a Senate hearing, Amb. Shannon wants $86 to fund the plan!!!

This is TAXPAYER-FUNDED TREASON!!

fred5678 on July 21, 2014 at 3:53 PM

The brutal Obama policy that’s really driving the Border Crisis

Here is what’s killing you, the legal minorities of the USA, the middle/lower classes, jobs, and especially you the taxpayers.

Revolt in all your glory or go under.

If you don’t pitchfork your masters in DC, politically, you deserve them, from the left to the right.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

The Obama Regime submitted a bid request for illegal alien babysitters BACK IN JANUARY.

Obama wasn’t warned of this, HE CREATED THIS.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

The minute the states try to implement some immigration enforcement, the feds claims it’s their job so butt out.

jdpaz on July 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

Revolt in all your glory or go under.

If you don’t pitchfork your masters in DC, politically, you deserve them, from the left to the right.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 3:55 PM

If I go to the border the only thing I’m bringing is a RIFLE. Not teddy bears. Not soccer balls.

ConstantineXI on July 21, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Any theories? Any thoughts on why Obama didn’t consider it a priority to enforce the border in, ahem, 2012?

Aside from his daughters, Dear Liar hates children? Then again, marxists are willing to let people die, if not outright killing them if it helps them to implement their vision.

rbj on July 21, 2014 at 3:56 PM

Maybe he prefers it that way since he can always issue a mega-DACA order later and effectively legalize everyone else who’s here, potentially an even more effective pander to Latinos than DACA itself was, but there’s lots of backlash potential in that and his pro-amnesty fans on the left might not be satisfied with anything short of legislation.

While Boehner’s at it, he might as well initiate a lawsuit regarding zero’s Executive Orders changing our immigration policies…Only Congress has the authority to legislate immigration and naturalization.

Hear that, Boehner? Make it TWO lawsuits…and add it to the growing list of Articles of Impeachment charges…

Newtie and the Beauty on July 21, 2014 at 3:58 PM

Any theories? Any thoughts on why Obama didn’t consider it a priority to enforce the border in, ahem, 2012?

Because he banked on “comprehensive immigration reform” which he did nothing about, with Pelosi/Reid in place, having fooled the Hispanics in 2008.

He then thought he’d get it done, for his legacy, about 2014…and was caught with his pants down, too soon.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 3:59 PM

FOX’s Tantaros Unloads on Obama: He Should Just “Call Gay Athletes” and Stay Off Global Stage

Akzed on July 21, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Wow, leftist Salon

Right-wing obstruction could have been fought: An ineffective and gutless presidency’s legacy is failure
Yes, we know, the crazy House. But we were promised hope and change on big issues. We got no vision and less action

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:01 PM

A true racist of the land, the Mississippean buffon, Barbour.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children
Solicitation Number: BERKS-RFI
Agency: Department of Homeland Security
Office: Immigration & Customs Enforcement

Jan. 29, 2014

Akzed on July 21, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Breaking Point

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Good afternoon, Paladin. :)

We always knew that when the day inevitably came when his own decided to turn on him they’d be far harsher than we ever were. That day is dawning.

thatsafactjack on July 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

Obama – pyromaniac.

VorDaj on July 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

This is a government orchestrated migration-invasion.

Obama Regime Planned the Influx of Illegal Alien Children at the Border

Six months ago

“It says there will be ‘approximately 65,000′ of these Unaccompanied Alien Children.” To sum up: On January 29th, the Feds post on Federal Business Opportunities, a website that advertises government contract job openings, openings preparing for the arrival of undocumented children, be ‘approximately 65,000,” seeking vendors to handle transportation logistics.

“A spokeswoman for ICE, Barbara Gonzalez, confirmed the posting was authentic, but couldn’t provide additional information in response to questions from [the website] The Blaze.

sharrukin on July 21, 2014 at 4:05 PM

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:03 PM

The Democrat’s inner circle is so bankrupt on this issue, they’ve been to the well so many times lying to the Latino’s about AMNESTY, they’ve grown so desperate that there’s a rumor floating around that they’re thinking of a ‘surprise’ run by backing … Jerry Brown.

thatsafactjack on July 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

thatsafactjack on July 21, 2014 at 4:06 PM

Maybe the Phillies should bring back Mike Schmidt too…?

Akzed on July 21, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Hi J. – don’t bank on them judging him. They’ll move toward Warrenhonta or Brown or any of their marxists. Their job is not done. Their oaf was found out too soon and it made the populace nervous.

Schadenfreude on July 21, 2014 at 4:18 PM

Federal officials viewed the situation as a “local problem,” said Victor Manjarrez Jr., a former Border Patrol station chief who led the UTEP study.

Yeah, a “local problem” until states like Arizona tried to do something about it. Suddenly it was a “national problem” and something only Washington should handle.

AND DIDN’T!

GarandFan on July 21, 2014 at 4:21 PM

Where are the usual suspects defending him.

RickB on July 21, 2014 at 4:30 PM

B-b-b-but Bush and Clinton

This is all stupid. It’s been going on for a very long time and by both parties:

Republicans and conservatives maintained a continuous cannonade against President Clinton for his blatant disregard of our borders and his efforts to swell the Democrat Party’s voting ranks by giving citizenship to hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens. Continuing these policies, they warned, would lead to national suicide. Many of those voices, however, have been strangely mute as President Bush has continued, and in some cases expanded, Clinton’s suicidal immigration policies. Some have actually switched from jeering to cheering, apparently convinced that any policy, no matter how bankrupt, destructive or unconstitutional, suddenly becomes beneficial when backed by Republican Party leadership.

Obama just has a heavier hand and doesn’t mind a few children dying along the way to get what he wants.

Me on July 20, 2014 at 10:36 AM

From yesterday’s Headline thread. I hate retyping stuff.

Fallon on July 21, 2014 at 4:39 PM

I agree with Salon:

On the up side, those days before his first term began were undoubtedly Obama’s best ones.

And our nation’s!!!!

http://www.salon.com/2014/07/20/right_wing_obstruction_could_have_been_fought_an_ineffective_and_gutless_presidencys_legacy_is_failure/

fred5678 on July 21, 2014 at 4:41 PM

No kidding. I’m betting they (Obama’s Admin) didn’t deal with it because they were behind it. And of course the GOP was crazy for amnesty. Its a win win for everyone except working class Americans who wages are being manipulated to please the ruling class. To hell with these illegals and everyone who helps them. They are our enemies.

magicbeans on July 21, 2014 at 8:25 PM

Resist We Much on July 21, 2014 at 4:20 PM

(:->)

JugEarsButtHurt on July 21, 2014 at 8:40 PM