Between October, 2013 and May, 2014 more than 47,000 unaccompanied minors, mostly Central Americans, crossed our border without authorization and over 100,000 more are expected by the end of the year. Unlike illegal entrants from Mexico or Canada who can be legally deported immediately by our Border Patrol without a hearing, persons from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, etc. must be given a hearing before deportation under a Bush-era law.
Foreign Governments Undermine US Immigration Law
The presidents of Mexico and Guatemala have agreed to expedite safe and assisted 72 hour passage for even more unaccompanied minors and adults to travel across Mexico so they may illegally enter the U.S
Reuters News reported (6/20/14) that an aide to the president of Honduras stated at a meeting in Guatemala City attended by Vice President Biden, that, “...‘As long as (U.S.) immigration reform is not approved, the exodus of children to the United States will continue,’ Jorge Ramon Hernandez, the senior representative of Honduran President Juan Orlando Hernandez, said at the talks.”
Obama Administration Non-Response
Rather than increase Border Patrol or establish National Guard presence on our 1900 mile border with Mexico, (as Texas Governor Rick Perry is now doing) the Obama Administration is preparing for long term stays by illegal entrants and is seeking to house growing numbers of unauthorized immigrants in upscale hotels across the U.S. through contracts to various church groups and non-profits.
The Buffalo, New York News (7/14/14) reported that federal agents showed up unannounced in Grand Island New York “at what they thought was a vacant hotel that might be able to house children who entered the country illegally…The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services and General Services Administration will be conducting an initial assessment of Lexington Commerce Center in Rochester, NY…and the Byblos Niagara Resort in Grand Island, NY…to determine whether it may be used as a facility for temporarily housing children who have come into the United States from other countries without an adult guardian …”
The San Jose Mercury-News (7-29-24) reports, “Along with dealing with the flood of children traveling alone, the Border Patrol has also arrested more than 55,000 people traveling as families, mostly mothers with young children. Because of a lack of detention space many of those people have been released with a notice to report back to immigration authorities at a later date. The Obama administration has repeatedly declined to say how many people have been released and how many have reported as ordered.”
Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick disclosed (7/18/14) that he had been approached by the Obama Administration for assistance. “A few weeks ago, the Regional Office of HHS asked us (and several other states) whether we could and would temporarily shelter some of these children while they are processed under our law for deportation or for reuniting with their families in the States. The request was for up 90,000 square feet of space to use for up to 4 months to accommodate up to 1,000 stranded children. The types of facilities sought by HHS and FEMA ranged from military bases to unused shopping malls.”
And the Christian Science Monitor notes, (6/6/14) “ The border patrol ... estimates project 90,000 so-called unaccompanied children will try to cross this year and as many as 165,000 will try in 2015 (up from about 13,000 in 2012 and 24,000 in 2013). Overall, illegal immigration from Central America is now inching toward 180,000 people a year ... Children are about 10 percent of that flow, and as many as 70 percent of those children are unaccompanied ... Many of the children are 12 and older, and most are boys ... .”
The Obama Administration is seeking to house these persons for months and months since deportation hearings cannot be held for this volume of illegal entrants with the present number of Administrative Law Judges [ALJ].
Texas Democrat Congressman Henry Cuellar, who has been critical of Obama’s immigration policy, “believes many of the immigrants will never go home. ‘If you're a pregnant woman, or you're a family unit, they’re gonna give you a piece of paper where you promise to show up in 90 days ... And I tell you, they're not going to show up in 90 days. No way.’” [Fox News 6/14/14]
US Customs officials in Texas were simply handing out bus tickets to illegal entrants and telling them to appear in 90 days. Without more ALJs, presence in the United States by the unauthorized will continue indefinitely, and deportation will become more and more difficult.
I believe we can and must eliminate Obama’s last excuse for continuing his Trojan Horse immigration policies and counteract Congress’ timidity and gridlock.
I wrote Governor McAuliffe urging him to identify Virginians who are qualified to act as Administrative Law Judges (magistrates, retired or substitute state judges, members of the Virginia Bar) to assist ICE in quickly determining the status of those who illegally entered the U.S. through our southern border. This is important because many who arrive hope that the federal delays become de facto legal status or at least allow stays of several years.
I also asked two Congressmen for documents from our State Department regarding the true number of actual refugee applications our Central American embassies have received. In the past year, Virginia relocated approximately 2,100 persons determined to be bona fide refugees by our foreign embassies from countries worldwide.
ACTION ITEM # 1
Please contact Governor McAuliffe and urge him to identify qualified individuals in Virginia (retired or substitute judges, magistrates, attorneys) to help serve as Administrative Law Judges to clear the backlog of deportation hearings. Virginia judges with local roots in the community are more likely to administer federal asylum laws and regulations fairly and without undo influence from the Obama Administration than invisible administrators hired by Washington.
Also, urge Governor McAuliffe to ask fellow Governors to do the same in their states.
A More Permanent Solution
Admittedly, this is a temporary solution to handle persons already here illegally. Securing our southern border is necessary to our national security. The Obama Administration testified on July 22, 2010 before a House of Representatives Subcommittee:
“…the southwest border region is the principal entry point for smuggled aliens from Mexico, Central America, and South America. Aliens from countries of special interest to the United States such as Afghanistan, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan (known as special interest aliens) also illegally enter the United States through the region…Mexican drug trafficking organizations have become increasingly involved in alien smuggling. These organizations collect fees from alien smuggling organizations for the use of specific smuggling routes…Mexican drug trafficking organizations specialize in smuggling special-interest aliens into the United States…Communities across the country are at risk since among those individuals illegally crossing the border of criminal aliens and gang members who pose public safety concerns for communities throughout the country.’ (GAO report, 10-919T, “Alien Smuggling, etc.” July 22, 2010, testimony of Richard Stana, Director, Homeland Security and Justice Issues to a U.S. House of Representative Subcommittee.)
ACTION ITEM # 2 - State Construction of a Security Fence
Please contact the Governors of the Border States with Mexico, and ask them to build National Security fences in their states just as Israel did to significantly reduce terrorist incursions. If you have friends living in these states please urge them to contact their governors as well. I wrote all four border state governors in 2010 urging them do this since Congress has not done so. Unfortunately, none wrote back.
Had such construction been undertaken, we might not be facing this present immigration crisis or at least not on this scale. Congress has not followed through on protecting us with a secure Border Fence. Border state governors and their legislatures should set up tax exempt foundations to receive donations for fence construction from citizens throughout the country who are disgusted with an incompetent Congress and indifferent President.
You can contact the Governors of the Border States by going to the links below:
Governor of Texas
Governor of New Mexico
Governor of Arizona
Governor of California
Dangers to the Community and to Unaccompanied Minors
As a father and grandfather, it greatly concerns me that parents having difficulty supporting their children would be willing to send their children away. However, our emotional reaction must not substitute for prudential judgment.
Immigration officials are clearly overwhelmed by the numbers of background checks they must do to prevent gang members and terrorists from crossing our southern border. Furthermore, if children can so easily illegally enter the USA, so can terrorists.
Overwhelmed federal officials could also allow minors to be “claimed” by individuals who could exploit them in prostitution, drug activities or slave wage jobs. How many will be recruited by gangs? How many gang members are coming in to the US? Who verifies that parents actually arranged for their children to leave home?
ACTION ITEM # 3
Please contact your congressman and urge him to take action to secure our borders and also to change the 2008 law prohibiting immediate deportation of persons.
Obama Administrations Actions
This Administration calls the influx a new crisis. But they have been soliciting contractors to feed and house tens of thousands of undocumented children for some time. In FY 2014, the Obama Administration has awarded $644,188,522 to pay for UAC’s; $305,865,613 in FY 2013; $215,484,312 in FY 2012; $136,179,511 in FY 2011; $122,163,535 in FT 2010; and $94,700,534 in FY 2009.
The Washington Times (5/14/14) cites documentation compiled by the Center for Immigration Studies that in 2013 Obama’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials freed 36,007 convicted criminal aliens (felonies and misdemeanors) from jail who were awaiting the outcome of deportation proceedings. They had accumulated nearly 88,000 convictions.
Religious Service Groups Targeted
Yesterday, President Obama, with Governor Terry McAuliffe and numerous LGBT activists standing by his side in the White House, signed an executive order (7/21/14) claiming vague authority under the US Constitution, to require all federal contractors and sub-contractors to hire applicants regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity.
Obama had been asked by Faith groups, including many of his supporters, to provide an exemption for religious groups. Obama, in a stunning display of intolerance, defied them to side with activists who will now be able to initiate workplace law suits against church-based agencies.
The implementation of Obama’s immigration policies depends greatly on the co-operation of religious organizations which have received literally hundreds of millions in federal dollars for refugee resettlement and services. Now that the Federal Government has all these contracts with religious agencies they are going to force them to violate their religious beliefs in their hiring practices. Will Obama, if religious leaders balk, back away from his executive order? Will religious leaders choose to accept this assault on their Faith or morals and continue accepting federal dollars?
I was reliably informed a few years ago about a woman working in a cleaning crew in a Manassas building. She did not come to America legally, and she was extorted to have sex with her supervisor who threatened to turn her over to authorities. The victim refused to report this to authorities. How many of these children will be the victims of human traffickers or other people looking to exploit them in this same way?
If we really care about children we would not want harm to come to them. Facilitating the present lawless entry is harmful. Thank you for caring about children and the security of our homes, communities and nation.
Delegate Bob Marshall