By Joe Guzzardi
August 13, 2014
In the 18 months between January 2013 and June 30, 2014, U.S. Customs and Border Protection data reveal that more than 85,000 so-called unaccompanied alien children were apprehended. But according to a National Review investigative story based on information collected from the Department of Justice’s Executive Office for Immigration Review, only 41,592 total receipts marked as juvenile were recorded during that same period. The Department of Homeland Security defines receipts as the document used “to charge an illegal immigrant with being removable from the U.S.”
More than half the apprehended children, then, do not have deportation orders against them, a troubling, alarming but truthful account of the border surge’s consequences. None of the government agencies National Review contacted would comment. They included CBP, DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. While it’s possible that the White House’s lax approach to immigration enforcement created the paperwork back log, the more probable explanation is that the administration has willfully allowed the chaos to deepen as part of its ever-expanding executive indifference amnesty.
The CBP report was only part of this week’s bad immigration news coming from Washington. A new report from the DHS’ Office of Inspector General uncovered that in 2013 the Obama administration released thousands of convicted criminals including felons as part of a politically motivated campaign. Obama maintained that freeing the convicts was a cost saving necessity under his newly implemented sequestration policy. In all, last year ICE released 68,000 criminal aliens.
From last February 9 to March 1, the three weeks that lead up to sequestration, ICE released 2,226 aliens, 617 of whom had criminal convictions. In her follow up analysis of the IG report, Emmy-award winning journalist Sharyl Attkinsson wrote that ICE’s chief financial officer Radha Sekar notified the White House Office of Management and Budget that ICE had requested $22 million funding that, if granted, would have avoided freeing the aliens. The IG report also stated that it was unable to determine why ICE didn’t wait for OMB to reply before discharging the criminals. Furthermore, the IG report noted that in response to public and congressional outrage about the numbers of aliens released, then-DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano and then-ICE director John Morton made “inaccurate” and misleading statements. In its conclusion, the IG’s office determined that ICE remains ineffective in carrying out its mission of protecting Americans from the illegal foreign and domestic movement of people and goods throughout U.S.
Too often, the Obama administration’s open borders policy has tragic consequences. In the most glaring example, earlier this month Mexican illegal aliens Gustavo Tijerina and Ismael Hernandez murdered Border Patrol Agent Javier Vega in front of his family while they were on a weekend fishing trip. Tijerina and Hernandez had been deported a total of six times. But Tijerina, the shooter, had a particularly disturbing history with immigration officials. The first three times Tijerina was arrested, he was briefly detained, fined $10, and then released. On the fourth occasion, Tijerina was held slightly for a slightly longer period before being fined $100. Not long after he was set free, he shot and subsequently confessed to murdering Agent Vega.
The next time Americans hear Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid insist that the border is secure or listen to President Obama tell them that granting millions of aliens amnesty is the “right thing to do,” consider one DHS insider’s warning: “This [Agent Vega’s murder] is coming to a town near you.”