By Joe Guzzardi
July 11, 2014
Enough time has passed since the Central American border surge began and ample information is available that Americans can now separate fact from White House fiction.
First, the children aren’t fleeing violence. Even though the murder rates in Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala are high, but not greater than in Chicago, Detroit or St. Louis, there’s been no recent violence spike that would precipitate a flood of departures.
Furthermore, the Guatemalans are coming from the country’s northern sector, far from the east where most gang crime occurs. Sen. Ted Cruz said that at a Senate Judiciary Committee meeting he attended, a confidential Border Patrol whistleblower memorandum was read. According to the agent, among 200 informal interviews with aliens, the overwhelming majority said they were coming to reunite with their illegal immigrant families already in the U.S. or to pursue the proverbial better life, the expenses for which U.S. taxpayers will underwrite.
Second, the aliens are well coached on what to say to get admitted. The pro-immigration lobby, which includes handsomely paid coyotes, has a vast network north and south of the border. Armed with what one law enforcement officer called “cheat sheets,” the illegal immigrants know they need to claim that they have “credible fear” of returning. Immigration officials have found cheat sheets torn up just outside the points of entry.
Third, only some of the unaccompanied minors are children. A large fraction are teenaged males including self-confessed gang members who have willingly surrendered themselves to the Border Patrol, knowing they’ll be allowed in.
Four, the Obama administration anticipated the invasion. In January, the Department of Homeland Security issued a federal business opportunity bulletin titled “Escort Services for Unaccompanied Alien Children.” The text called for contractors to provide unarmed escort staff to provide on-demand services seven days a week, 365 days a year. Showing astonishing prescience, the announcement predicted that “there will be approximately 65,000 UACs in total,” almost the exact number that have arrived so far.
The UAC’s choreographed arrival represents an extension of the administration’s existing immigration largess toward Central Americans. Within the last few months, nearly 300,000 Hondurans, Guatemalans and Salvadorans have been resettled. American Community Survey data collected by the Census Bureau show that in 2012, 2.7 million from those countries lived in the U.S. Since 1990, their aggregate population has increased 234 percent. The Department of Homeland Security estimates that 60 percent are aliens.
On average, 70 percent of the Central Americans are non-English speakers, only about half have earned a high school diploma versus 7 percent for native-born. More than half use at least one major welfare program and 60 percent live at or near the poverty line.
In 2011, Obama insisted that the border is secure. His infamous line chastising Republicans for possibly wanting a moat with alligators before moving on immigration reform rings hallow today. The border wasn’t secure then, and it isn’t secure now.
A more honest 2011 insight came from Immigration and Customs Enforcement union president Chris Crain who testified before the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration that ICE agents have been ordered not to arrest illegal aliens who don’t have a prior criminal conviction even if they are deportable fugitives or individuals who have illegally re-entered the United States and thus have perpetrated a felony.
The tragic but unavoidable conclusion is that the Obama administration cares neither about the American nation nor about the citizens who’ve made it great. Obama’s agenda is to promote illegal immigration under the guise that Americans benefit from it when, in fact, they’re don’t. Obama-style immigration policy carries indefensible, unsustainable fiscal costs and poses great risks to U.S. sovereignty.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]