Border Surge Continues as Obama’s Presidency Dwindles-

Border Surge Continues as Obama’s Presidency Dwindles–37gh.,b40

Unaccompanied alien minors (UAMs) and “family units,” primarily from Central America, are surging across the Southern border at record rates in the waning days of Barrack Obama’s presidency. New Border Patrol apprehension statistics paint an alarming picture: 15,573 family units and 7,406 UAMs were apprehended in November. (CBP Southwest Border Apprehensions) The number of UAMs apprehended is up slightly from the 6,722 in October but significantly higher than the 5,604 apprehended last November. (Id.) In fact, the November 2016 UAM apprehensions is the highest number since the surge peaked in the summer of 2014. (Id.) November’s family unit apprehensions set a record high (up from October’s 13,118 apprehensions) and is more than twice the 6,471 apprehensions from last November. (Id.)

The sustained surge in unlawful border crossings is overwhelming border patrol agents. Earlier this month, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) announced that it is opening a temporary holding facility near the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge (16 miles east of Hildalgo, Texas) to help handle the flow. (CBP Press Release, Dec. 7, 2016) This facility can handle about 500 people and will “remain open pending any changes in the volume of people arriving at the ports of entry or crossing the border between the ports in the South Texas area.” (Id.) In a statement, Joint Task Force-West South Texas Corridor Commander Manuel Padilla, Jr. said, “This effort is designed to minimize the impact to border security operations while fulfilling our humanitarian efforts.” (Id.)

The surge of UAMs and family units is unsurprising given the Obama administration’s refusal to secure the Southern border and unwillingness to promptly return those apprehended. Even though these individuals are willingly being smuggled across the border, the Obama administration is treating Central Americans as “trafficking victims” which triggers addition layers of process. Thus, once Central American UAMs and family units are apprehended, they receive papers setting court dates (often years in the future) and are then released into the U.S. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Sept. 20, 2016) The illegal aliens refer to these “notices to appear” as “permisos” (permission to stay) and predictably over 80 percent fail to show up for their hearings. (Id.) Additionally, an activist judge ruled in 2015 that family units cannot be detained prior to their hearings—a ruling that has directly correlated to the rise in “family units” appearing at the border. (See FAIR Legislative Update, Aug. 4, 2015) Despite the obvious connection between Obama policies and the surge of UAMs and family units, the administration continues to blame violence in El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala as the sole cause for the illegal migration. (See Washington Times, Dec. 15, 2016)

Unsurprisingly, the UAM crisis is costing taxpayers millions of dollars that could have been used elsewhere if the Obama administration had control of the border. Through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request on behalf of FAIR, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) discovered that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has spent over $100 million over the past few years transporting UAMs across the country. (Washington Times, Dec. 11, 2016) The data showed that ICE spent approximately $665 per UAM during the initial 2014 surge just in airline expenses transferring the minors between agencies, delivering to family in the interior, and rarely returning to the home country. (Id.) IRLI’s Executive Director Dale Wilcox described this waste of taxpayer dollars as “insult to injury on a massive scale.” (Id.) “We fought for nearly two years to get this data,” Wilcox said. (Id.) “Now we see why the administration has been less than forthcoming and why they’ve repeatedly tried to blame the costly… surge on Central American crime rather than its own amnesty policies.” (Id.)


sourc–cbp press, manuel padilla, irli, ice, dale wilcox, wash times


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