Any theories on how they might have gotten such a silly idea? Apart from the most famous man in the world not once but twice publicly declaring executive amnesty for many millions of illegals who are already here, I mean.

Nearly a year after the Obama administration launched a massive public relations campaign to dispel rumors of a free pass for immigrant families crossing the border illegally, internal intelligence files from the Homeland Security Department suggest that effort is failing

The Associated Press obtained copies of the interview summaries, which were compiled in reports by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Office of Intelligence. They said hundreds of people traveling as part of families consistently cited opportunities to obtain permission to stay in the U.S., claim asylum and receive unspecified benefits. Immigrants spoke of “permisos,” or a pass to come into the United States…

Although the administration opened two new detention centers in Texas to hold thousands of immigrants, a federal judge in California ruled in August that the facilities violated a long-standing legal agreement that stipulates that immigrant children cannot be held in unlicensed secured facilities. U.S. District Judge Dolly Gee ordered the department to release the children, with their mothers when possible, “without unnecessary delay” and gave the department until this month to comply…

Most of the immigrants interviewed, or 181 of them, said reports about the release of immigrant families influenced their decision to come to the United States.

The way this works in Mexico and Central America, I think, is a combination of sloppy reporting, faulty assumptions based on unrelated events, outright deceit by human traffickers, and garbled information as people on the street end up in a long game of “telephone” about what’s actually going on in the U.S. For instance, Obama announces that DREAMers, who came to the U.S. at a young age and have lived here for years, will no longer be deported in his executive discretion. That probably circulates abroad as “Obama allows young illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S.,” with the detail about them having already arrived here and resided for a certain amount of time relegated to a footnote or overlooked altogether. Coyotes hear the news and begin drumming up business by spreading the word that Obama’s amnesty applies to everyone who makes it across the border by a certain date. Meanwhile, the news is filled with reports about Europe absorbing hundreds of thousands of migrants from the Middle East and promises by the United States to take a certain number ourselves. Someone who wants to come to the U.S. hears that in tandem with the coyotes’ propaganda and maybe concludes that there’s a sea change in attitudes towards immigration in America and Europe and therefore now’s the time to set out. And if they happen to have family who are already in the U.S. illegally, well, all the more reason to think they’ll have a legit chance to stay put if they can make it here. Mark Krikorian:

There are permits for illegal-alien minors and families. Formally known as Notices to Appear but known colloquially in Spanish as permisos, they require the aliens to present themselves to immigration authorities by a certain date, until which they have temporary legal status. That gives them time enough to travel to join their relatives and disappear into the existing illegal population. And disappear they do, since, despite the tough promises, virtually none of them are deported, immediately or otherwise…

The prospective illegal aliens in Central America aren’t stupid; they will contrast what they’re told by our government with what their relatives here and news reports tell them the government is actually doing, and act accordingly.

Then, on top of all that, the news is suddenly filled with reports of a court ruling in L.A. ordering the feds to release young illegals into the general population rather than hold them in detention centers. Somehow that metamorphoses into a belief that the court has granted illegals the legal right to reside in the U.S. — which it sort of has, given how few show up for deportation hearings once they’re out of the feds’ custody — and the idea that “permisos” are being handed out begins to spread. Not coincidentally, the court ruling came down in late August while, per the AP, border crossings happened to surge in the third quarter of this year, which includes the period from August 21st (when the decision was published) to September 30th. If any of this sounds familiar it’s because we went through the same “permiso” chatter last year during the border crisis, when thousands of families abroad somehow got the idea that America was granting amnesty to anyone who made it across into the U.S. Why they thought that is convoluted, but this post from last August attempted to trace the idea back to its germ. Surprise: It seems like it was DHS’s order to extend Obama’s amnesty DACA amnesty that really got the ball rolling. All last summer, young illegals told DHS officers that they’d heard there was a “new law” that would let them stay once they’re here. That’s what triggered the PR campaign described above in the excerpt. And as virtually all U.S. government PR campaigns do, this one failed. There are just too many signals, some intended and some not, that the feds are open to illegal immigration for official PSAs abroad to dissuade people who’ve come to believe they’ll receive amnesty.

No worries, though. President Trump is going to clear all of this up, just as soon as he figures out what his actual position on immigration is. In lieu of an exit question, I’ll leave you with this passage from the LA Times’s August 22nd story about the federal court ruling ordering kids released from detention centers:

Federal attorneys had argued that [Judge Dolly] Gee’s initial ruling would spark another surge of illegal immigration across the U.S.-Mexico border. Gee denied the government’s request for reconsideration, equating that argument to “fearmongering.”