The downing of the Malaysian plane MH-17 and the Israeli offensive in Gaza have finally pushed immigration from the headlines, it is a good time to examine the “crisis” its origins, the public reaction and the use by member of the main parties to game the controversy.
Immigration reform like many other subjects in American politics, is one that emote great anguish on both sides of the political spectrum. Those on the left see any abortion legislation that in any way limits abortion as if abortion is being abolished and a War on Women. Similarly the reaction to the Hobby Lobby decision brought about some of the dumbest, ignorant and ill-informed commentary from the MSM, the immigration debate does that to the Right.
Let me begin by saying that the notion that 57,000 UAC (unaccompanied alien children) coming into the US will somehow cause some massive disruption that will bankrupt some local governments is ludicrous. In the aftermath of the Haiti Earthquake 60,000 refugees came to the US. 38,000 of them settled in the Miami area. Unlike up to 85% of the UACs which are reunited with parents or relatives already here, most the refugees from Haiti, came with the clothes on their back and needed placement, which included housing, food, monetary assistance, job placement, etc., while it may had provided some strains in the system they were absolve into the country.
The issue with immigration in our country has always been one of lax enforcement of the laws we have or a different interpretation of what those laws require us to do. currently, the most common excuse being given for the “crisis” is the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, a law meant to protect the young from human and sex traffickers by providing a different procedure of handling those UACs from those from Canada or Mexico, where they would be sent back expeditiously.
Pryor to 2012, only 1% of illegals were UACs, last year there were 26,206 UAC’s of which only 1,669 were deported according to the LA Times, this year there could be up to 90,000 according to estimates by DHS. Something changed after 2012 that is now the driving force for the changes in the amount of UACs doing the perilous journey from mainly El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras through Mexico and into the US.
Pro-immigration proponents will say that violence and poor conditions in those countries are the reason for the influx of UACs, while others will point out that the decision of President Obama to adopt his version of the Dream Act, allowing children of illegals to stay is the driving force. This report and interview of a mother and child by local TV station seems to lend credence to the latter.
A mother and child told CHANNEL 5 NEWS that the message being disseminated in their country is, “go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.”
The woman, Nora Griselda Bercian Diaz, from Guatemala, said she endured threats from the Zetas and extortion from corrupt Mexican police. She eventually crossed the Rio Grande with her 6-year-old Delmi Griselda Paul Bercian by her side.
The woman said she wants a U.S. education for her daughter.
“I want to study,” said the girl who hopes to one day become a doctor.
A CHANNEL 5 NEWS crew met the mother and daughter three hours after they crossed the border illegally. They were lost and searching for Border Patrol agents.
“I was planning to go to McAllen then call a friend for her to send me money on the bus,” Bercian Diaz said.
Bercian Diaz said she has no family in the United States. Her hope of staying here relies on her little girl. She said the message in her country is that America’s borders are open to all families.
News reports in Guatemala say mothers and small children are getting bus tickets, Bercian Diaz said.
“I said, ‘I need to act right now, because this will end and my girl won’t have a future,'” Bercian Diaz said.
Ms. Diaz had been deported from the US previously, now she made the trip with her daughter in the hopes that they would not be separated and allowed to stay. As Ms. Diaz points out, the feeling in Guatemala is that there would be changes in the law soon, which means that they better take advantage of the current atmosphere now.
This story on the New York Post, details a memo from the Border Patrol that would contradict the administration’s contention that violence in Central America is the reason so many young people are streaming northward.
According to the memo, which was brought up at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing Wednesday, agents grilled more than 200 non-Mexican immigrants in late May, and 95 percent of them said they headed to the US because they’d heard they could get a “permiso,” or “free pass” simply by showing up at the border.
Somehow people in these 3 countries have gotten the impression (rightfully, it seems) that if they send their children or come with their children to the US and turn yourself to the Border Patrol that you will not be deported or will be allowed to stay indefinitely. How did these people get that impression? It obviously appears that there has been collusion between our government and pro-immigration groups as well as the government of these countries and Mexico. Having heard some of the comment by government officials from those countries they are aware of the situation and are encouraging it, if not at least condoning it.
But, it is a crisis as the Media is trying to portray it or just a ploy to get Congress to act and pass an Immigration Reform bill that seemed to have stall? It appears to be both, if we examine the timeline we see that until late May, while it appeared that the Republican Congress would vote on an Immigration Reform bill, the influx of UACs was unnoticed. According to DHS testimony last week, the numbers of illegals detain in the southern border are on par with last year, what is different is that the percentage of those caught changed from 65% Mexicans to others to only 35% Mexicans the others making up the difference.
The border discussion belies a bigger problem when dealing with illegal immigration and that is Visa overstayers. While estimates vary wildly from 25% to 40% and may vary also by group, Pew Hispanic Research Center estimated in 2010 that 45% of the 11.2 million illegals in the country are Visa overstayers. The Wall Street Journal on a report last year;
Nobody is sure how many people are in the U.S. on expired visas. The most commonly cited figures equate to some four million to five million people. But that is based on a 2006 study by the Pew Hispanic Center, which relied on a formula that was created using 1990 data. In 2011, there were 159 million nonimmigrant visits to the U.S., according to the Department of Homeland Security. More than three-quarters were for pleasure. But millions also involved business travelers, temporary workers and students.
This is not just an issue that affects immigration but a national security issue as well, especially in light of September 11, when all the hijackers had legal visas into the US, 5 of them were Visa overstayers. Currently foreigners are fingerprinted when they enter the country, but no system exists to track when if ever they leave and whether they overstayed their Visa. While a group of Republicans and Democrats want to establish a system to verify exit of those that enter the country, the President wants no such system and wants to allow any foreigner in the country the ability to apply for admission. This would include those here legally but on temporary Visas as well those that have overstayed their Visa. This is one of the many sticking points on any proposed Immigration Reform legislation. Then there is another problem, even when we issue deportation orders few comply voluntarily. Currently there are more than 850,000 people with deportation orders still in the country.
Both sides are adamant in making the current situation into a crisis, the pro-immigration camp wants to utilize the UACs to call for a wider amnesty, after all it is for the children and you would not want to break-up the families. While the others are saying this is exactly what you get when you reward lawlessness, there is a reason most governments do not make deals with terrorists, it entices them to do it again. Both have ramped up the rhetoric with some placing the blame on us due to the War on Drugs like here, here, and here. On the other side there are equally misinformed articles that aim to scare the populace with stories of how these group of immigrants will bankrupt their cities, destroyed their schools and crime rate will skyrocket.
Both sides are convinced that any larger influx of Hispanics will be to their benefit are the voting booth. A common misconception that totally ignores reality and display an ignorance about what Hispanics want and how they vote if they vote at all. Hispanics are not block voters, like for instance the AA vote. If that was the case Texas would be Democrat controlled state in every election. People like to point out New York and California as examples of states where the Hispanic vote is key but both of those states though they have large Hispanic population, were blue states for a long time.
This urban myth, seems to be a result at least of where the exit voting polls are taken and the belief that all Hispanics support illegal immigrants. The areas where exit polling is done are usually in large Metro Areas, New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Miami, etc. Invariably most if not all of these areas are controlled by Democrats, they are also areas where large segments of the population are dependent on government. This eschews polling data by showing a preference for governmental policies and liberal views.
Yet those preferences don’t translate in other areas here are some quick facts from the BLS;
- Hispanics are only second to Asians in the worker participation rate at 66.4 %
- Hispanics enter the workforce earlier that any other Ethnic group
- Hispanics as a group also work the most past the age of 65
- Hispanics are paid the least across all job categories
- Hispanics are less likely to receive government assistance
- Hispanics that live at or under the Federal poverty level, less than 50% are receiving 1 form of assistance
- Only 36% of those receive more than one, compared that to 68% of blacks and 57% of whites
Before anyone guesses that I am pro-amnesty or open borders, let me state that I bitterly oppose both. There are good arguments for securing our borders and for managing our immigration policies in the manner that suits the country. What I am opposed is both sides using false or misleading statements to achieve their goals. If you have to resort to sentimentality to win, then you already lost your arguments. Likewise if you have to lie and instill fear to make your point you are just as bad.
I am reminded of the movie Children of Men, in that post-apocalyptic world where no children were being born, this meant that those alive would be the last to survive. Refugees were thrown into cages, killed or kept in Refugee Camps with no hope. Finally a woman is pregnant with the first baby in more than 18 years, the rebels that opposed the immigration policies wanted to use the baby as a rallying cry to a full-blown rebellion, willing to kill the only woman who could start the next generation of humankind. Talk about cutting your nose to spite your face. In many ways this is what is happening with the surge in UACs, some are hoping that the large migration of juveniles will force the government to act their way, risking the lives of those kids on a long and perilous journey to do so. Others are using the surge to do the opposite, demonizing a large group of citizens along the way, who agree with them in the first place.
Finally, I wanted to answer Univision’s reporter Jorge Ramos, who tweeted that government should not be in the business of deporting children; to which I say, government should not be in the business of trafficking of children, which is exactly what is happening, and it is a lucrative business. As this story reports or This one also thanks to Clarice Feldman at American Thinker.