By Joe Guzzardi
July 25, 2014
The week has been non-stop bad news for Americans who want a swift end to the Central American invasion. Instead of decisive presidential and congressional action to deport the minors, at least half of whom are neither “unaccompanied” nor “children,” there’s been the usual lollygagging and destructive partisanship that’s led to gridlock. If Congress can’t agree that blatant lawbreaking by Nicaragua, Honduras and El Salvador, with Mexico’s assistance, puts U.S. sovereignty at high risk by sending thousands of its nationals to the U.S. without prior authorization, America is in deep peril. Central America has proven that illegal entry is a snap, other countries including terrorist sponsoring nations will soon get the message.
Here’s what we’ve recently learned. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson reluctantly admitted that smugglers hired by their families hired for as much as $10,000 accompany most of the nearly 60,000 aliens. Johnson: “Nobody is freelancing.” In Central America, the $10,000 sum represents a small fortune which could be more advantageously put to work opening a small business or operating a farm.
Since the minors came to the U.S. voluntarily and their parents paid for their trip, they weren’t trafficked and therefore don’t meet the basic qualifications under the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) allowing them to remain. Nevertheless, in the same press conference, Johnson argued that the administration is bound by the TVPRA.
Johnson’s insistence that legal restrictions tie the Obama administration’s hands is outrageous. First, the White House willfully misinterprets TVPRA. Second, the administration has repeatedly ignored with impunity other immigration laws while granting deferred action to childhood arrivals (DACA) which protects deportable aliens from deportation. Obama and Johnson eagerly apply discretion they don’t have (DACA) to issue Executive Orders that stay deportation for youths. Yet, shamefully, Obama and Johnson are unwilling to use discretion they do have to deport Central American aliens.
Another alarming revelation came when, in a separate hearing, Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) asked Johnson what happens after Customs and Border Protection takes children into custody. Johnson reluctantly acknowledged that more than 95 percent are eventually turned over to their parents or guardians who themselves are unlawful entrants. The administration is therefore reuniting illegal aliens with their illegal alien families, a policy which breaks several immigration laws.
Congress is deadlocked. The House wants less money allocated than the White House’s requested $4 billion with more of it going toward border security including deportation and less earmarked for sheltering the Central Americans. Additionally, the House wants to eliminate the TVPRA loophole that allows Central Americans to enter without fear of repercussions. The Senate, however, insists on leaving TVPRA intact. The chance of resolution between the two chambers before the August recess is slim.
From coast to coast, most American communities have rejected federal efforts to resettle the aliens in their neighborhoods. In Escondido, CA the City Council voted against a plan to shelter illegal immigrants in its town. And in Lynn, MA, Mayor Judith Flanagan Kennedy said that earlier Central America influxes have already “overwhelmed” her city.
Obama has the legislative tools to deport the aliens but not the willingness. In a damning interview, former Deputy Chief of the U.S. Border Patrol Ron Colburn confirmed that the White House has ordered Immigration and Customs Enforcement to go off duty and ignore the border surge. Colburn said that the agents are spending their time playing video games and exercising at the gym instead of protecting Americans from the foreign incursion. Charges that the Obama administration doesn’t care about Americans are, in face of overwhelming evidence, hard to argue against.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1987. Contact him at [email protected]