It isn’t enough that our southern border leaks like a sieve. Now border agents have to deal with the fallout from President Obama’s lax enforcement of the law.
In truth, illegal aliens arrive with absolutely no fear of being sent back. According to a border agent who testified at a Senate hearing, the illegals know that we have “catch and release” policy so that even on the slim chance they get caught, they are confident they will be released right away.
“Most believe that they will either not be caught, or even if they are caught, they will not be deported back to their home country,” Agent Chris Cabrera told the Senate Homeland Security & Governmental Affairs Committee in prepared testimony. “The UACs and family groups we detain are acutely aware of the fact we will not hold them until they are adjudicated.”
“UAC” is short for “unaccompanied alien children,” and more than 66,000 of them were apprehended in fiscal year 2014. That number has been cut nearly in half from those crisis levels, and in fiscal year 2015, which just ended, 35,000 UACs were caught.
But Cabrera said those numbers are still too high, and said thousands of children and families continue to brave the journey because of the low chances of being caught. He said it’s well known by these immigrants that the U.S. is not detaining and deporting people, but is instead catching and releasing them.
They know that they will be released and issued a Notice to Appear (NTA),” Cabrera said. “What we have right now is essentially a catch-and-release policy. This coupled with violence and instability in their home country is driving the continued flow of UACs and family groups.”
“Until we hold them until we adjudicate their cases they will continue to come,” he said.
Cabrera also noted that the ongoing flow of UACs into the U.S. can have other disastrous impacts on border security. For example, he said that when child immigrants come across a certain area, it’s hard for the U.S. Border Patrol to focus on other priorities.
“The cartels knew that a group of 30 UACs can literally tie up an entire shift of agents in my area,” he said. “All we were doing was tending to the children and the entire border in our area was completely unguarded.”
If we’re not going to bother to hold them so that we can adjudicate their case, what’s the point? More than 40% of illegals don’t show up for their court case — usually months after they’re caught — and who could now be anywhere.
Amnesty, wall building, “virtual fences,” — none of that matters until we create a coherent, rational policy on how to send back those who enter the country illegally. Right now, the desire to do so isn’t even there. But suppose the next president is determined to enforce the law. What’s the procedure? Already overburdened immigration courts would obviously have to be expanded, more border agents would be necessary, and more facilities would need to be built; but that’s just for starters. We need to focus on making deportation predictable and inevitable by streamlining the procedure and applying it fairly to all border crossers.
Only then will would be illegals be discouraged from coming to America and the flood of illegals slowed to a trickle.