Earlier today on Capitol Hill, the Senate Judiciary Committee held a Homeland Security oversight hearing and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson testified.
Johnson was pressed by lawmakers, specifically Republicans, about the ongoing humanitarian crisis of unaccompanied children on the southwest border with Mexico. Since President Obama's Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals [DACA] program was implemented in 2012, we've seen an alarming increase in the number of children trafficked into the United States without their parents.
During the hearing, Texas Senator Ted Cruz reminded Johnson about exactly what we're dealing with here: children.
“It’s important to understand what those numbers represent. These numbers represent children. Little boys and little girls, their parents are handing them over not to some noble social worker trying to help them. They are handing them over to international, global criminal cartels that smuggle human beings in. They put kids, among other places, on top of fast-moving freight trains. They are criminals who assault, sexually assault, and sometimes murder these children. These are little girls that are sometimes being sold into prostitution and sex slavery," Cruz said. "The humanitarian crisis that comes from failing to secure our border is staggering."
Cruz pointed out the cruel reality of President Obama's DACA program, the abuse thousands of children potentially face as a result of the policy and broke down the numbers on how this crisis will get worse by next year. He also argued that the promotion of illegal immigration causes humanitarian crises like the one we're seeing right now.
“In 2011, there were roughly 7,000 unaccompanied minors who were apprehended...In 2012, that number rose to 14,000. In 2013, it rose to 24,000. And, in 2014, your agency is estimating it is going to be as high as 90,000. In 2015, the administration is estimating that it will rise all the way to 145,000," Cruz said. “Mr. Secretary, you testified to this committee the increase is a result of violence in Central America and there is surely violence in Central America, but if you look at the statistics…midway through 2012, was when Administration unilaterally granted amnesty to some 800,000 people who had been minors, with the so-called DACA [Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals] proceeding. And, you can see sometime after that the numbers spike dramatically. Is it really your testimony that granting amnesty to some 800,000 people who came here illegally as children had no effect in causing a dramatic increase of children being handed over to international drug cartels to be smuggled in here illegally?”
This entire exchange is worth your time:
Ranking Member Chuck Grassley expressed similar concerns and also pressed Johnson for answers about the Obama administration's recent release of 36,000 violent criminal aliens on the streets of America.
"Two weeks ago, the House Judiciary Committee asked the Secretary to explain why the Department released more than 36,000 convicted criminal aliens from its custody in 2013. He didn’t have an answer at the time, saying he wanted “a deeper understanding” of this issue. I look forward to hearing today what he’s learned since then," Grassley said. "Releasing 36,000 people with criminal convictions is no small matter. These individuals have been convicted of homicide, sexual assault and kidnapping. They are drunk drivers and drug offenders. And, now they are free to roam our streets."
Military bases are now being used to process thousands of illegal immigrants already in the United States as Border Patrol stations in Arizona and Texas are completely overwhelmed on all levels.