By Joe Guzzardi
April 14, 2014
Worldwide, a far-reaching network exists that keeps would-be illegal immigrants current on what the U.S. is doing, or better said, not doing to enforce its immigration laws. Advocacy groups distribute flyers and posters that apprise interested overseas parties how to enter the United States and, for the few who have the rare misfortune to be apprehended, what to say when you get here.
Key words for would-be aliens are “credible fear.” Repeat that phrase and the door to America opens wide. Within the global immigration advocacy community, it’s well known that if aliens can reach the interior, they’re home free. Someone who knows, John Sandweg, until recently the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s acting director, told the Los Angeles Times: “If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero — it’s just highly unlikely to happen.”
Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent who is vice-president of the National Border Patrol Council union acknowledged that the word is out about lax enforcement and describes the illegal entries as “coming across in droves.” Knowing that deportation is unlikely, illegal immigrants are surging across the border. After six years of relative calm in the Rio Grande Valley, during the last six months the Border Patrol made more than 90,700 captures, a 69 percent increase from last year. Among the crossers are an estimated 100 young children traveling alone.
Because Mexico is contiguous to the U.S. border states, they can be returned promptly. But aliens from noncontiguous countries like El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, and must be flown home by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, a more formal, longer procedure.
Immigration officials confirm that they’ve established a low standard for “credible fear,” to avoid inadvertently sending home a foreign national whose life may legitimately be at risk. As a result, Central Americans keep coming and fear claims have more than doubled from 2013 to 36,026 from 13,931 in 2012. The migrants’ goal is asylum which would allow them to remain legally in the U.S. and apply for a green card after one year.
Aliens allege that they come looking from a better life and to escape poverty. But those claims often don’t stand up to scrutiny. For example, a Guatemalan who speaks neither English nor Spanish and has few skills will be, at best, a minimum wage earner, vulnerable to exploitation who will live in substandard housing and be separated from his family, friends and native customs—no one’s definition of a better life.
The longer the administration’s open borders, non-deportation policy remains in effect, and the end isn’t in sight, the worse the long-term consequences will become. The U.S. can’t absorb millions of unskilled illegal aliens who won’t contribute meaningfully to the economy. The young children that many illegal immigrants bring with them require nurturing; the women’s as yet unborn American citizen children will, in all probability, need social services.
Encouraging more illegal immigration is cruel to the immigrants who will struggle from the moment they enter the U.S. The humane, potentially life-saving solution to the crosser is to bulk up border security, strengthen internal enforcement, and mandate E-Verify, actions that would discourage illegal entry. These are easily accomplished goals assuming the political will to put them in place existed.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]