Illegal immigration is speeding up and has been for months as amnesty talks continue on Capitol Hill. But now, Fox News has obtained documents showing illegal immigrants are getting free hotel rooms courtesy of taxpayers and are being given asylum in the United States by citing fears of drug cartels in Mexico.
A sudden influx of illegal immigrants from Mexico requesting asylum is overwhelming immigration agents in San Diego, forcing agencies to rent hotel rooms for some undocumented families and release others to cities around the U.S.
Documents obtained exclusively by Fox News show Immigration and Customs Enforcement has been paying for hotel rooms for dozens of recently arrived families to relieve overcrowding inside the San Ysidro and Otay Mesa, Calif., processing centers. Some ICE employees are working overtime and others have been asked to volunteer to work weekend shifts. “Duties include intake, placements, transports and release of family groups and unaccompanied minors,” according to a memo obtained by Fox News.
The surge has raised suspicions about what is driving the influx, amid claims that illegal immigrants have learned they can attempt to get asylum by using a few key words -- namely, by claiming they have a "credible fear" of drug cartels.
But it isn't just illegal immigrants seeking asylum who taxpayers are housing, they're also paying for cartel members to be housed in America's prisons as the violent criminal organizations partner with dangerous gangs in our neighborhoods.
An Associated Press review of federal court cases and government data, plus interviews with law enforcement officials, suggests Mexican drug cartels are expanding their reach in the U.S. The review finds that cartels are now sending in some of their most trusted agents to live and work deep inside the United States. It's a move meant to tighten their grip on the narcotics market and perhaps expand into other criminal enterprises.
Mexican drug cartels are a legitimate concern, especially with a porous border, so why isn't Congress addressing them directly as part of their illegal immigration overhaul?
During a phone call with reporters Wednesday afternoon, Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council President Chris Crane expressed concerns over a lack of attention in the immigration reform debate to an expansive criminal alien and violent cartel problem inside the United States.
"We aren't even scratching the surface on the criminal illegal alien problem in the United States," Crane said. "That part [cartels] is absent from this discussion as are many parts of this....we know that the drug cartels, that the lieutenants and the troops, the soldiers, they're all within the interior of United States and they're all conducting business as are many other criminal elements and criminal individuals. There are people coming here for this to be a land of opportunity and there are people coming here because the United States for them is a target of opportunity and we believe there is a very disproportionate number of criminals coming into the United States. That conversation is almost completely absent from this entire public conversation about what's happening....It's just another part of this debate that gives us this concern that this is all about politics and not about really fixing the problems that we face within our broken immigration system and providing for what is best for everyone is best for America to include and most importantly, public safety."
Don't think that's serious enough? How about Mexican cartels hiring ex-U.S. military to work as snipers and hit men?
Mexican cartels are recruiting hit men from the U.S. military, offering big money to highly-trained soldiers to carry out contract killings and potentially share their skills with gangsters south of the border, according to law enforcement experts.
The involvement of three American soldiers in separate incidents, including a 2009 murder that led to last week’s life sentence for a former Army private, underscore a problem the U.S. military has fought hard to address.
"We have seen examples over the past few years where American servicemen are becoming involved in this type of activity," said Fred Burton, vice president for STRATFOR Global Intelligence. "It is quite worrisome to have individuals with specialized military training and combat experience being associated with the cartels."
The Gang of Eight in the Senate ignored the criminal element of the immigration debate, let's hope the House doesn't do the same in September.
|Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is also the author of Fast and Furious: Barack Obama's Bloodiest Scandal and the Shameless Cover-Up.
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Author Photo credit: Jensen Sutta Photography