ICE and CBP Turned Into an Illegal Alien Shuttle Service

border-patrol-truck-rotator-720x480Most American taxpayers believe that the function of their immigration enforcement agencies, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), is to secure the borders and enforce immigration law. Apparently the current administration doesn’t agree. In the last days of his final term, president Obama has turned ICE and CBP into a taxpayer-funded shuttle service for illegal aliens.

Breitbart is reporting that ICE officials are releasing illegal aliens from immigration detention centers and transporting them to bus stations and airports so that they can travel to destinations across the United States. In 2014, the union that represents Border Patrol agents stated that the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) began allowing illegal aliens to fly on commercial airliners without valid identification. Apparently, the dangerous practice has been continued in order to facilitate the dispersal of as many of the recently-arrived illegals before President-elect Donald Trump takes office.

The scam works like this: ICE or CBP apprehends illegal aliens. (In many cases the aliens intentionally seek out CBP and turn themselves in, hoping to secure immigration benefits under the latest program.) The aliens are then transported to a detention center for “processing.” Rather than conducting any in-depth background checks and detaining the aliens until they can be removed from the United States, immigration officials issue them a Notice to Appear – a document instructing them to appear before the Immigration Court for a deportation hearing. The majority then simply disappear into the interior of the United States. If they are encountered by immigration authorities again, it is usually when they are arrested by local law enforcement for committing a crime and referred to ICE.

ICE has officially acknowledged its reckless actions in a press release issued to KGNS TV in Texas, stating: “During the recent increase of individuals illegally entering the United States in south Texas, individuals who have final destinations within the U.S. are identified and transported to bus terminals and airports.”

If that seems a bit strange, it should. Nearly all illegal aliens have a final destination within the U.S. It’s extremely rare to find any transiting the lower 48 on their way to Canada or Greenland. That’s why we have ICE and CBP. Their function is to interdict illegal aliens before they reach their American terminus and remove them. Unfortunately, President Obama appears to have turned the two primary immigration enforcement agencies into a taxpayer-funded convenience for illegal aliens – many of whom may later prove to be drug traffickers, terrorists and violent criminals.

FAIR Statement on Expansion of CAM Program

Obama_signing_112414The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in response to Tuesday’s announcement by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) that it intends to expand and increase admission of both minors and adults by granting either refugee status or parole through the Central American Minors (CAM) program.

“Once again, the Obama administration is asserting broad discretionary authority to bypass congressionally mandated limits on the number of people who are admitted to the United States. Moreover, in its carefully worded statement, DHS appears to be deliberately misleading the American public about the scope of this unauthorized program and the people who may benefit from it.

“Clearly, as we approach an election in which uncontrolled immigration is a key issue on the minds of voters, the spectacle of the ongoing border surge is not helpful to the president’s party. Rather than take the initiative to close loopholes in our laws that have fueled the border surge, the expansion of the CAM program is designed to address the optics of the problem by putting people on planes rather than having them crash the border.

“The DHS announcement goes to great lengths to make it appear that the CAM program will benefit only the relatives of American citizens or lawful permanent residents. That is not the case. Under the wording of the DHS announcement, relatives of DACA recipients – another program that was never authorized by Congress – will be eligible for settlement in the U.S. Despite temporary relief from deportation, DACA recipients are illegal aliens.

“In addition, many Central Americans have been granted Temporary Protected Status (TPS). These temporary guests will also be eligible to reunite with relatives outside the country

“Finally, the announcement includes a nebulous eligibility qualification that allows the administration broad discretion to admit just about anyone it wants: ‘Caregivers of qualified children who are also related to the U.S.-based lawfully present parents.’ Virtually anyone who claims to have been taking care of a minor child of parents who are in the U.S. could be admitted under this provision. Moreover, DHS could also assert discretionary authority to admit the caregivers’ spouses and dependents as well.

“While cloaked in humanitarian terms and giving the appearance of being very limited in scope, Tuesday’s announcement is anything but. Congress must act to block funding for this mass resettlement program that it has not authorized, and which is designed to perpetuate the Obama administration’s policy of mass immigration by any means necessary.”

Virus Outbreaks Highlight Troubling Health Risks of Illegal Immigration

labtest_rotatorAn illegal immigrant at Arizona’s Eloy Detention center is at the center of an ongoing measles outbreak, according to state health officials. The detainee contracted the illness before his arrest and assignment to Eloy, where 11 inmates and staff are infected and is under complete quarantine to prevent the virus from spreading outside the facility.

Despite all 11 reported cases being isolated inside the detainment center, the infected visited at least 14 outside locations in the days and weeks prior to developing symptoms. Individuals can be infected with measles up to three weeks before showing symptoms and the disease can survive on surfaces up to two hours after leaving the host, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention.

The United States eradicated measles by 2000 by achieving herd-immunization, but immigration and a movement by anti-vaccination activists have led to an increase in reported cases. Because other once-banished diseases like tuberculosis, along with the new Zika virus, know no borders, illegal immigration enhances the threat of reintroduction because many migrants never received basic health screenings before entering the United States.

The federal government employs minimal safeguards and procedures to ensure that illegal immigrants are free from contagious diseases like measles or Zika. In February, Department of Homeland Security officials admitted that they only check for symptoms and tangible signs of illness instead of conducting full medical screenings. Border agents then release many of these immigrants into society as a part of the Obama administration’s controversial “catch and release” policy, so immigrants in the pre-symptom phase of a dangerous disease will likely be released to potentially affect others.

Elsewhere, 22 percent of Somalian refugees currently being resettled in Minnesota have tuberculosis, a serious respiratory virus that is easily spread through airborne droplets. Taxpayers cover all associated healthcare costs, which run between $17,000 and $430,000 per patient on average, depending on the severity of condition.

With the return of these serious diseases, it is imperative that the United States monitor and inspect everyone who visits or emigrates from at-risk countries. The Obama administration is asking Congress to allocate $1.9 billion to combat the spread of Zika, but any measure taken by the federal government will have limited results unless it prioritizes border security and immigration reform. Because as long as the federal government fails to stop unchecked illegal immigration from at-risk countries, they are unable reasonably insure the safety and health of American citizens.

Asylum Approvals Encourage Illegal Immigration

texas_detention2A recent study of the approval rates for asylum claims by unaccompanied minors found a wide divergence in rates of approvals. The study reported by the Associated Press on June 2  found a discrepancy in approval rates depending on jurisdiction with offices in San Francisco having an approval rate of 86 percent while the rate in Chicago was 15 percent.

This variation in approval rates points to the subjective nature of asylum claims. The article points out that the asylum officers who make the decisions are in part influenced by federal court rulings that have been more “liberal” in the 9th Circuit that covers San Francisco, but the major factor may be a program in California to fund lawyers for the young asylum applicants. Data show that approval rates for asylum applicants who have legal representation are much higher than for those without representation.

What the article does not discuss is the legal basis for the asylum approvals. The legal standard is that the person has suffered persecution or has a well-founded fear of persecution if deported based on the person’s race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion. It is unclear how these criteria would lead to an approved asylum claim for these youth from Central America, because the existence of a high level of violence – which is often cited as a reason for fleeing the region – is not a basis for granting asylum. These claims are not justified on the basis of the claimant’s race or religion, or nationality, or political opinion, and it is difficult to imagine what the catch-all of “particular social group” could be.

It should be noted that when a favorable asylum decision is made by an asylum officer that is the end of the process: asylum granted. But, if the ruling is unfavorable, that decision is subject to appeal to an immigration judge, and many of those appeals result in asylum being granted. So, instead of the overall approval rate of 37 percent for the cases in the study, the final rate of approvals will be higher. This rate of approval of gaining access to a ‘green card’ and permanent legal residence is enough to encourage the continuing flood of illegal entry by young Central Americans.  Besides, the administration’s record in deporting those Central American youth who have been ruled ineligible for asylum is so anemic that the risk of deportation is virtually negligible. 

Illegal Entry of Central Americans Again Surges

Remember the surge in illegal immigration from Central America two years ago that the Obama administration was going to discourage by speeded up deportations?  The threat of action seemed to slow the arrival last year, but it has again surged. The obvious reason is because there was negligible follow through on the threat of deportation against the new arrivals. Having learned that the threat was toothless, the flow resumed and has actually increased. As reported by Breibartnews.com on May 5, “In all, the Southwest Border sectors saw a 78 percent increase in UAC [unaccompanied alien children] apprehensions between FY 2015 and FY 2016.” (http://www.breitbart.com/texas/2016/05/05/huge-increase-illegal-alien-apprehensions-unaccompanied-minors-up-78-percent-over-2015/)

Apologists for the administration try to disguise the responsibility of the administration for this flouting of our borders with statements like the following, “…extortion, violent crime, and corrupt police forces, along with considerable economic inequality, are the primary factors driving migration north.” That appeal to Americans’ compassion appeared in Counterpunch.org also on May 6.

But, anyone who has been following the issue knows that the conditions in the Central American countries from which these UACs are coming have not experienced new major increases in crime, corruption, etc., and their leaders have claimed positive advances especially in suppressing violence.

The context of the surge in illegal entry from Central America is instructive. It demonstrates that the virtual absence of the threat of deportation coupled with the prospect of getting at least temporary permits to work in our country fuels the attraction of illegal entry. The compound actions of the administration to accommodate illegal immigration and the campaign promises of both Ms. Clinton and Mr. Sanders to push for a new permanent amnesty for the illegal alien population will inevitably be seen abroad as an invitation to still more illegal immigration.