Thursday, July 10, 2014

Breaking bad on the border

A large contingent of American protestors has gathered at the Murrieta station of U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP). Their intent is to prevent CBP from bussing illegal immigrants into the station. Their effect is to disrupt CBP from processing the illegal immigrants for deportation. Why would the protestors do something that has the effect of being an obstacle to what they’d like to see happen?

One person actually said that Obama is bussing illegal Mexicans into the USA so they can vote Democrat in the next election. He might be more ignorant of the US Constitution than most of the protestors in Murrieta but some of them actually have the idea that the busses picked up the illegal immigrants in Mexico and are bussing them to Murrieta so CBP can grant them some status that would allow them to stay there legally. Some of the protestors want CBP to bus the illegal immigrants back across the border into Mexico and the rest want them deported.

The reason CBP is actually bussing illegal aliens to its Murrieta station is because of a humanitarian crisis that has developed in recent months. Since October 2013, CBP has apprehended more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors entering this country without documentation — double the number apprehended in the same period the prior year. Many of the children are trafficked here by criminal syndicates. A great concentration of these children are apprehended in the Rio Grande Valley sector of CBP.

The cause of this influx is a rumor that spread throughout Latin America, especially in Central America, that unaccompanied minors who make it into the USA will be issued a permit to stay here. This is a false rumor — there are no immigration status deferrals for unaccompanied minors. They are subject to the same deportation criteria that adults are. So one of the things CBP has done is to conduct a Spanish-language awareness campaign and run public service announcements in Central America saying that unaccompanied minors apprehended in the US will be subject to deportation.

While unaccompanied minors receive no special immigration status that adults and minors with adults do not get, they do have to be processed very differently. The CBP cannot simply transfer the unaccompanied minors to U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) like they do with other undocumented aliens. They have to be sure the children have food, shelter, and safety because ICE has a backlog on deportation proceedings. In fact, George W. Bush passed a law in 2008 that requires ICE to have all unaccompanied minors appear in immigration court regarding their status rather than simply processing them administratively (ostensibly to help reduce child trafficking).

Therefore, CBP has to shelter the children in their detention centers until they can find a family member in this country or a non-governmental organization that can take custody of them before transferring the unaccompanied minors to ICE. This takes time, so that’s why the detention centers in Texas are getting overcrowded. Presumably, Americans don’t want the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to build housing for the children or have to feed them while they go through their extended deportation proceedings and I hope they don’t want the administration to detain them in prisons.

So CBP is transporting the detainees to other less crowded detention centers, such as in its Murrieta and San Ysidro stations. In the meantime, President Obama has requested $3.7-billion from congress to help ease the surge in illegal aliens apprehended here, with the bulk of the money to help process the unaccompanied minors. One failure by the administration is to not also try to get funding to increase border security. After all, the DHS would not have to process and deport them at all if the illegal aliens didn’t make it across the border in the first place.

Getting back to the concerns of the protestors in Murrieta, CBP is not bussing the aliens in from Mexico. All of these aliens are apprehended inside the USA. And CBP cannot bus them back into Mexico because the majority of the aliens are not Mexican. Even if they were, Mexico would not permit it unless the aliens were processed first (to verify that they actually came across the Mexican border in the first place, that they are Mexican, that they do not qualify for asylum, and that they are not in the USA for a legitimate reason, etc.). The protestors in Murrieta demand that the president deport the aliens and that’s exactly what the DHS is doing. CBP is sending them to a detention center where they can be more expeditiously processed for transfer to ICE, which is the agency that conducts deportation proceedings.

The protestors in Murrieta need to stop causing trouble with Customs and Border Protection. It’s just trying to do what the protestors ultimately want done. But by obstructing a federal agency from doing its duty, the protestors are breaking as bad as the illegal aliens crossing the border.

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