14403835283_d9e6438bde_oLast Wednesday before the Senate Judiciary Committee, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson denied that his department’s lax enforcement policies are the cause of a surge in illegal alien minors across the southern border. These comments and the debate over the cause of this mass influx of illegal aliens into the U.S. quickly became the focus of what was originally scheduled to be an oversight hearing of the Department of Homeland Security.

The number of illegal alien minors coming to the U.S. from Central America has grown exponentially since the President announced his Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program (DACA). That program essentially gives illegal aliens who qualify for the DREAM Act a two-year deferral of deportation and work authorization. Although Obama Administration officials have acknowledged the number of unaccompanied minors has increased roughly ten-fold since 2011 — the year before DACA began — to an estimated 60,000 for FY2014, a recently leaked internal DHS memo revealed that the number could reach an astounding 90,000 by the end of the year. (See FAIR Legislative Update, June 11, 2014)

Nevertheless, Secretary Johnson used his testimony before the Senate to argue that Central American violence, and not the Obama Administration’s lax enforcement policies, is the cause for the surge in unaccompanied minors illegally crossing our Southern border. “The situation is motivated primarily by the conditions in the countries that they’re leaving — El Salvador, Honduras, and Guatemala,” Johnson testified…

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