Fact v. fiction: the truth about the illegal child immigration crisis

Steve Berman --- The Red State 

It's been reported that our Southern border has seen an influx in minors illegally crossing the borders from Mexico and Central America. How true are the numbers that have floated around the media, where are these immigrants coming from and who are they? The Red State reporter Steve Berman wades through the array of myths that have surfaced, and sets the record straight about this massive influx of minors and the human rights issues that result from this surge. 

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The minors flooding our borders are mostly older teen gang members and criminals.  FALSE.  Sure, there are gang members and criminals coming over the border all the time.  This has been true for years.  Mexican Guatemalan gangs such as MS13* have networks in the United States and that’s troubling.  But the kids coming over from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador, among other countries are with few exceptions, just kids.  Many of them are fleeing gangs.  Mexican gangs try to recruit them in border towns like Reynosa, which is a hive of violence and crime.

Thousands of migrants are gathering in Reynosa and other cities along the Rio Grande, many of them having made long journeys from other Central American countries.  They get to the US border, lacking the money for a “mule” to take them over, many of them risking their lives to cross on their own.  The’ve been lured by a strong message—the press and Obama administration is calling it a rumor—that the US is allowing all children to stay in America, carte blanche.  As I wrote a few days ago, DHS’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, begun in 2011, blasted this message southward.  Since then, the message has only been reinforced.

This situation is truly a developing, serious humanitarian crisis.  One that’s left squarely on our doorstep by Mexico, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala.  Those countries have enough domestic issues to deal with, and keeping their citizens from fleeing to America is—to put it mildly—not a high priority.  DHS and Border Patrol have seen the numbers increasing for several years, and now the immigrant flow has past the point of total chaos.  There’s literally nowhere to house the growing number of illegals crossing into the US, and the DACA program forces USCIS to, at least temporarily, admit anyone who claims to be 16 or under.  Immigrants are being shipped to military bases as far away from the border as Massachusetts, leading to charges of “dumping grounds”.

Until DACA is reversed, it’s unlikely there will be any slowdown or stopping the ever-increasing flow of new illegal immigrants.  DHS and USCIS are simply doing what they have to do, unless you and I are okay with these kids just roaming our neighborhoods like they do in Phoenix, where they are dropped off at the bus station with instructions to self-report to an ICE office.  Like they know where to go, or what form to complete, or even care.

Congress is doing something to stop this flood.  NOPE.  119 Congressmen co-sponsored H.R. 4138 “ENFORCE the Law Act of 2014” which allows either chamber of Congress to bring suit against the Executive Branch for failure to enforce federal laws.  This was passed specifically to allow Congress to sue to overturn DACA.  H.R. 4138 was referred to committee in the Senate after passing the house in March 2014.

This bill is a far cry from the legislation necessary to stop DACA.  Congress can simply act directly to reverse the policy and direct DHS and USCIS to stop the program.  Of course, it would also be buried in the Senate, and if passed, likely vetoed by He with a Pen and a Phone.

The House of Representatives lacks the intestinal fortitude and ability to pass meaningful immigration legislation, unless they are agreeing with the White House (which Eric Cantor painfully learned).  Does it make sense for Congress to allow this festering moral wound continue to putrefy until it sends us into a national septic shock?  Every day that we keep our borders open is adding to our culpability.  We have a responsibility as a nation to keep ourselves, and foreign nations accountable for their citizens, and we’re simply negligent, almost criminally so, in living up to that responsibility.

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