The White House on Monday rejected charges that it has caused a flood of illegal child immigrants surging across the southern border.
Even as the influx continued, the administration defended President Obama’s 2012 decision to defer deportation of “dreamers,” people who entered the United States illegally as children, and instead blamed violence in El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras for the spike…
Three out of every four children intercepted since October are from Guatemala, El Salvador or Honduras, said the Border Patrol memo, obtained by The Associated Press.
“Violence is a major reason they’re coming forward in this way,” the senior administration official said.
Poverty and violence are driving the migration, administration officials say, and activists working with migrants agree. But some also suggest that DACA could be a factor.
Tania Chavez of La Union del Pueblo Entero told KRGV-TV of the Rio Grande Valley that the “coyote” smugglers who bring Central Americans to the US illegally may be telling people that children can take advantage of the program and find work in the United States.
Indeed, media reports have indicated that many of the migrants are coming because they believe children will not be deported. “They’re saying that women and children are allowed to stay,” a recently detained undocumented immigrant from Guatemala told Monitor correspondent Lourdes Medrano in Tucson, Ariz., Thursday.
Though there is no change in the law for children or parents many Central Americans that enter the U.S. illegally with young children are simply being freed with an order to appear before immigration authorities at a later time.
“After they’re housed for awhile they’re given a piece of paper and they’re asked to show up in 90 days or so, and I can tell you that probably 90% of them are not going to be showing up,” says Cuellar. “Because after they traveled thousands of miles, paid a lot of money (to smugglers), went through a very dangerous situation they’re not going to turn themselves in.”
U.S. Senators John McCain (R-AZ) and Jeff Flake (R-AZ) issued the following statement on the recent reports of illegal migrants being transferred from south Texas into Arizona:..
“The reality is that there has been a dramatic increase in the number of people from Central America – so-called Other than Mexicans (OTMs) – attempting to illegally enter the United States, in some cases fleeing violence and poverty in their home countries. Because of difficulties in dealing with these Central American nations, it often takes weeks and sometimes months to deport these individuals back to their home countries. Adding to this complication is the fact that the overwhelming majority of those who were transferred to Nogales for processing were parents traveling with children or unaccompanied minors, who, according to federal law, must be reunited with a family member wherever possible…
“To be clear: These individuals being apprehended by the Border Patrol are not eligible to remain in this country legally and, in fact, would not qualify for legal status or a chance to earn citizenship in the immigration reform legislation passed by the Senate last year…
“For too long this administration has been preoccupied with telling Americans the border is as secure as ever. These events prove it is not.”
Sen. John Cornyn criticized President Obama for creating a “human magnet” with his unlawful approach to immigration enforcement, but admitted that Americans had a duty to care for the children that were flooding into the country.
“They need to be taken care of, I mean they’ve been left, basically dumped at America’s doorstep, and we need to treat them compassionately we need to make sure they get the care they need,” Cornyn explained to reporters on Capitol Hill on Tuesday afternoon…
“If the message is that America’s door is open to anybody and everyone who wants to come here, people are going to flood in,” Cornyn said. “In this case some of the most vulnerable that you can imagine.”…
But the childrens’ arrivals already have been tagged by House Judiciary Committee Chairman Rep. Bob Goodlatte, R-Va., as “administration-made” and are happening at a critical time. These summer months were to be the last chance for the House GOP to act on immigration reform before Obama took some presidential action on immigration…
Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., said the humanitarian concerns should come first.
“I think we are struggling to find how to handle the situation because it’s a serious one involving children, the most vulnerable of all people,” Rubio said in an interview with CBS. He said he can relate to the situation having seen mass migrations from Haiti and Cuba.
“We need a president who is willing to uphold the law,” [Ted] Cruz said. “On issue after issue the Obama Administration has openly ignored, defied, and unilaterally tried to change the law. With respect to securing the border, the Obama Administration has handcuffed the courageous men and women who serve in Border Patrol. Morale in ICE is at an all-time low because the political operatives leading this Administration are preventing them from doing their job and upholding the law.”
He continued, “Just a few months before the last election the president illegally and unconstitutionally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people illegally. If the president wants to change federal immigration laws, the Constitution lays out a way to do so–you go and make your case to Congress and you convince Congress to change the laws…unfortunately for President Obama, following the Constitutional structure is apparently too cumbersome. One of the consequences were seeing on the border is a humanitarian crisis that is a direct consequence of Obama’s lawlessness.”
“It’s a humanitarian disaster; frankly I have no good answer to it,” he said to reporters on Capitol Hill Tuesday.
McCain said that he didn’t think that the illegal children should be allowed to stay, asserting that it would have been better if they hadn’t crossed the border in the first place. He also criticized the false message of amnesty to illegal immigrants which was drawing them to cross before immigration reform passed…
“It’s terrible, it’s terrible,” he said. “And it is harming our chances of getting comprehensive immigration reform done because people are so angry about this.”
Americans are a kind and generous people, and photographs of a sea of small, frightened and hungry faces in U.S. shelters along the southern border are enough to break a million hearts. President Obama, whatever he intended, is largely responsible. Lured by lax immigration enforcement and the promise of citizenship as “dreamers,” the Obama children’s hour is changing the mission at the border from ensuring security to providing emergency assistance. Last week, the president declared the border an “urgent humanitarian situation.” He assigned the handling of the influx of children to Craig Fugate, administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, which customarily provides relief following natural disasters. This is a disaster, sure enough, but it’s a man-made disaster…
Generosity doesn’t require that everybody who wants to come to America can come to America. The children’s surge is another consequence of the president making good on his vow to “fundamentally transform” America. He is endangering the lives of thousands of children south of the border.
Central and South Americans quickly figured out Obama was lying. If he had the power not to deport DACA eligibles illegal immigrants, he has the power to not deport anyone. So families started swarming to the U.S. The number of unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally doubled the year Obama announced DACA and is set to quadruple this year…
“I think one thing that we can do is to be as clear as possible about the law and about what the consequences are for making a decision like that,” Earnest said. “Those individuals are not eligible for the deferred action, executive action that was announced a couple years ago,” [White House spokesman Josh] Earnest said.
But when asked if Obama would deport those children arriving today, Earnest equivocated. “The law does require that we render assistance to those children and that is a process that begins with DHS when they are detained,” he said. “And then they go through a process to determine whether they are going to be sent back to another country, how they’ll be sent back to another country, or how that process is otherwise resolved.”
In other words, “Keep on coming, Obama will let you stay.”
I don’t mean to suggest that Earnest or Munoz or others in the White House are lying. I’m confident that they really believe that their policies have nothing to do with the border deluge, because to believe otherwise would create too much cognitive dissonance. Thus the steps needed to reduce the DACA Disaster at the border – i..e, changes in the administration’s permissive approach to immigration enforcement — are simply beyond them.
This suggests that the White House will try to ameliorate the situation in a way that avoids the unacceptable option of actually enforcing immigration law. That suggests a supply-side solution — pressuring Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador to keep people from leaving and pressuring the Mexicans to do more to stop them from transiting their country. But this won’t work; the governments there have neither the incentive nor the capacity to do our job of immigration control for us.
Which means this could get worse before it gets better.