Americans need to brace themselves for the coming wave of illegal immigrant children, a repeat of previous years’ surges. As noted on a CAPS homepage story, during fiscal year 2016 at least 20,455 unaccompanied minors have been caught along the U.S.-Mexico border as of last month. The crisis is exacerbated by a decline in deportations that will leave the Department of Homeland Security, Health and Human Services, local school districts and hospitals struggling to accommodate the aliens. Senate Judiciary Committee Chair Chuck Grassley fears that the 2016 surge could surpass the massive total in 2014.
Media coverage of the Central American crisis will again be sympathetic. Countless stories will be written about children fleeing gang violence. Most of the stories will be hearsay, and the factually based tales may be exaggerated. After all, at stake is permanent U.S. residency, a prize well-worth stretching the truth.
|E-Verify, taxing remittances among the solutions to border surge.|
But an excellent Honduran study shows that gangs have grown mainly because so many fathers have left their families to migrate illegally to the U.S. to work. Maras y pandillas en Honduras (Gangs in Honduras) makes the case that fathers who leave their families behind are responsible for “the total abandonment of their children; the absence of concern, attention, and affection and their incorporation into the maras.”
Here’s how a Salvadoran gang member describes the variables that led to his recruitment (Spanish-language video): “This government, the state itself, caused the disintegration of the family. … They have grown accustomed to the fact that this country survives on the remittances. So what does that mean? Parents abandon their children. They go to the United States. They leave them with the grandmother.”
Given the undeniable truth of this statement, a compassionate U.S. immigration policy would seal the border, mandate E-Verify, penalize employers who hire aliens with meaningful fines and jail sentences, and heavily tax remittances. Do those five things, and Central Americans would have no choice but to stay at home, a win-win proposition. The U.S. gets a handle on its Central American immigration problem and immigration advocates achieve their goal of keeping families together.