- The Washington Times - Tuesday, July 22, 2014

A Border Patrol report reveals that “unaccompanied minors” are only one-fourth of the current invasion from Central America across our Southwest border. The crossings by family units have increased almost five times faster. This contradicts White House and media efforts to elicit public sympathy by focusing public attention on children.

Total other-than-Mexican (OTM) apprehensions were 202,951 in the Southwest Border Sector (with three-fourths of those in the Rio Grande Valley) from Oct.1 through June 30. Of those, 57,525 were “unaccompanied alien children.” The other 145,426 persons were among 55,420 “family units” who also crossed the border, according to the report. The document can be viewed online here.

The Border Patrol report reveals far more explosive increase of illegal immigration by families than by minors. The increase among minors is 106 percent great than fiscal year 2013. But among family units the increase is an incredible 493 percent.

The White House keeps a tight lid on letting the Border Patrol release information, wrongfully claiming that privacy law blocks the release of statistics. So nobody has explained the skyrocketing border crossings by family units, nor explained why they haven’t been immediately flown back to Central America. Airline fare from our border to there is only $667 per person, far less than the costs being incurred to taxpayers.

But the revelation of the massive numbers of 55,420 families explains the TV accounts of “mothers and children” being driven to processing centers, then being dropped off at bus stations and airports from where they disperse to destinations all across America.

Unlike the unaccompanied minors (who are mostly teen-agers), these families are not warehoused for as long a time in government facilities where they remain bunched together and visible to visiting reporters, congressmen and others. Their presence is much less visible, yet much larger.

Have any been returned to Central America? Although the Obama administration brags that it has flown some back to Honduras, that involves less than 100 persons. So only a tiny fraction, far less than a single percent, has been repatriated.

Meantime, the House Judiciary Committee announced Friday that two-thirds of all requests for asylum for the recent flood of illegals are being approved. Because immigration law judges are backed up with almost 375,000 pending cases, these preliminary approvals come from lower-level immigration officials. It takes years before an immigration judge might review those decisions. Meantime, the asylee gets to stay in America, gets a work permit, and can collect public benefits.

The training of the bureaucrats who make the quick preliminary approvals is coming under congressional scrutiny because the decisions seem contrary to well-established asylum law. House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte, Virginia Republican, has said about 70 percent of recent asylum claims appear “fraudulent.” According to him, there is “New data showing that the vast majority of Central Americans’ asylum claims are immediately approved.”

Yet federal statutes restrict asylum to those who can prove they fled their country “because of persecution or a well-founded fear of persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion.” That persecution must be persecution by the government of that country, or by an entity that the government makes no effort to control.


Repeatedly, U.S. courts have ruled against asylum requests based on general fears of violence, even gang violence, in the country left behind. But President Obama twists asylum laws into a pretzel just as he has done with “prosecutorial discretion.”

Under Mr. Obama’s approach, if he deems your country unsafe, then everyone there can come to America and claim asylum. (The last one leaving should of course turn out the lights.) With Mr. Obama’s watering-down of the law, all 30-million inhabitants of Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador could claim asylum. They merely have to get here.

According to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services website, that means these 30 million people would then be entitled to:

Immediate freedom to work.

Ability to obtain an unrestricted Social Security care.

Job-search assistance.

Career counseling.

Occupational skills training.

Derivative asylum status for spouse and children.

In addition, they possibly could get help from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) that includes:

Financial assistance.

Medical assistance.

Employment preparation and job placement.

English-language training.

The costs to taxpayers of providing these benefits could make Mr. Obama’s recent request for $3.7 billion to care for unaccompanied minors look tiny. This is how the Land of the Free becomes the Land of the Freebies.

While attention has focused on debating amnesty, Mr. Obama has also been abusing his powers regarding asylum. Grants of asylum are already up tenfold during his presidency. Once we fully lift the White House veil of secrecy and get the full numbers for this year, those numbers will probably be even worse.

No matter what Congress might do to improve the language of our immigration laws, it will be meaningless with a president who disregards what those laws say.

⦁ Ernest Istook is a former Republican congressman from Oklahoma. Listen online to his daily talk radio show at KZLSam.com, noon to 3 p.m. ET. Get his free email newsletter by signing up at eepurl.com/JPojD.

 

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