Obama's Unconstitutional Implementation of DREAM Act Having Adverse Effect - A Surge in Unaccompanied Illegal Child Immigrants!
by The Associated Press
McALLEN, Texas April 28, 2012, 05:00 am ET
McALLEN, Texas (AP) — An unprecedented surge of
children caught trudging through South Texas scrublands or crossing at
border ports of entry into the U.S. without their families has sent
government and nonprofit agencies scrambling to expand their shelter,
legal representation and reunification services. On any given day this
year, the U.S. Office of Refugee Resettlement has been caring for more
than 2,100 unaccompanied child immigrants.
influx came to light last week when 100 kids were taken to Lackland Air
Force Base near San Antonio for temporary housing. It was the first
time the government has turned to the Defense Department — now, 200 boys
and girls younger than 18 stay in a base dormitory.
the issue of unaccompanied minors arriving in the U.S. isn't new, the
scale of the recent increase is. From October 2011 through March, 5,252
kids landed in U.S. custody without a parent or guardian — a 93 percent
increase from the same period the previous year, according to data
released by the Department of Health and Human Services. In March alone,
1,390 kids arrived.
"The whole community
right now is in triage mode," said Wendy Young, executive director of
Kids in Need of Defense, a Washington, D.C.-based nonprofit that matches
pro bono attorneys with unaccompanied minors navigating the immigration
system. "It's important that the resources and the capacity meet the
need, and we're not quite there yet."
Department of Health and Human Services' Office of Refugee Resettlement
facilities in 10 states range from shelters to foster homes and have
about 2,500 beds. Government-contracted shelters were maxing out their
emergency bed space, setting up cots in gymnasiums and other extra
"It's a much more limited set of
services," said Lauren Fisher of the South Texas Pro Bono Asylum
Representation Project, which helps children and their families navigate
the system. "It felt something like a Red Cross shelter, a hurricane
Unaccompanied children are first
processed by the Department of Homeland Security, and then turned over
to the ORR while the deportation process begins. Once in a shelter, the
search begins for their relatives or an acceptable custodian, while
nonprofit organizations try to match the children with pro bono
attorneys. When a custodian is found, the child can leave the shelter
and await immigration proceedings.
percent of the children referred to the ORR end up in a shelter,
according to a report released last month by the Vera Institute of
Justice — a nonprofit that developed a program to better provide access
to legal services for children. The average shelter stay is 61 days, and
the report found that at least 65 percent of the kids end up with a
sponsor in the U.S.
The cause of the surge
remains a mystery to child migrant advocates and government officials.
The kids are coming from the same places as usual —Guatemala, El
Salvador, Honduras and Mexico — and they offer the same range of
explanations: they made the trek to look for parents already in the
U.S.; they're seeking economic opportunity to send money home; they want
to escape violence or abuse.
to the children, but we don't have one solid answer," Fisher said.
"There seem to be the same reasons that we've seen before."
have suggested that human smugglers are more aggressively marketing
their services. Others wonder if the Border Patrol, whose presence has
doubled in recent years, is simply catching more of them. But Border
Patrol apprehensions of children and adults were cut in half from 2008
to 2011, and only 5 percent of those caught are unaccompanied children.
Younger children commonly cross with adult smugglers at the ports of
entry, while older kids join groups that follow guides through the
A South Texas woman told border
authorities this month that the 5-year-old girl accompanying her at the
international bridge connecting Hidalgo, Texas, and Reynosa, Mexico, was
her sister, according to court records. She even presented a Texas
birth certificate. But the girl couldn't answer basic questions, so the
woman told customs officers that she wasn't related to the girl at all.
She said that a man whom she worked with in Mexico offered her $2,000 to
"cross" the girl — who was actually from Guatemala — and accompany her
to Houston. The woman was charged with transporting an illegal
This week, the first ladies of
Mexico, Honduras and Guatemala spoke at a three-day conference on
unaccompanied minors in Washington, D.C. Mexico's first lady, Margarita
Zavala, and Honduran counterpart Rosa Elena Bonilla de Lobo noted that
tougher U.S. border security made it more difficult for parents working
in the U.S. to return for their children, a suggestion as to why parents
increasingly would put their children in a smuggler's care.
statistics are worrisome," said Rosa Maria Leal de Perez, Guatemala's
first lady. "We've had 6,000 unaccompanied children repatriated in the
The Department of Health and
Human Services limited its public statements on the unaccompanied
migrant children program, but it allowed a few reporters to take a short
tour this week of the housing at Lackland Air Force base. They were not
allowed to speak with children.
nondescript four-story dormitory is located deep on the base. When
children arrive, they are issued black duffel bags filled with clothing
and are allowed two phone calls a week. Three-quarters of the children
are boys, most between 14 and 17 years old.
cots were spaced two feet apart along the stark-white walls. A media
room held a large flat-screen television and a video game console; there
were also board games and an outside area with a basketball hoop and
two soccer goals. The kids play outside for an hour each day.
are looking to add some educational features that are appropriate for a
30-day temporary program," HHS spokesman Jesse Garcia said, though the
goal is to move kids to more established accommodations within 15 days.
of late Friday, 83 kids had already been transferred out of Lackland,
most to permanent facilities. Nineteen had been reunited with family.
Associated Press writer Paul Weber in San Antonio contributed to this report.
This is what happens when ICE is told to implement the DREAM Act
administratively, when "selective prosecution" allows minors to remain
in the United States. This is yet another policy of the Obama
administration that has been implemented after a Democratic congress
voted it (i.e. the DREAM Act) down! The fact that such lenient policies
actually attract more illegal immigration remains lost on those who
promote such policies.
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