With all eyes on the crises in Israel and Ukraine this week, the administration thought Friday would be the perfect time to mention that they’ve portrayed the unaccompanied child crisis at the border a bit, shall we say, inaccurately. Turns out this isn’t just a problem of unaccompanied children coming in--very large numbers of entire ‘family units’ are crossing over the border, too.
The Daily Caller reports (emphasis mine):
The data, which was dumped by the U.S. border patrol late Friday afternoon, shows that inflow of youths and children traveling without parents has doubled since 2013, to 57,525 in the nine months up to July 2014.
But the number of migrants who cross the border in so-called “family units” has spiked five-fold to 55,420, according to the border patrol’s data, which came out amid a storm of news about the shoot-down of a Malaysian aircraft in Ukraine, delays in failed U.S. nuke talks with Iran, and on Hamas’ continued war against Israel.
In the Rio Grande area where most of the migrants are crossing the border, the number of so-called “unaccompanied children” was actually outnumbered by the inflow by adults, parents and children in “family units,” according to the data.
The much-faster growth in “family units” has been hidden by White House and agency officials, who have tried to portray the influx as a wave of children fleeing abuse and violence.
Top officials, such as Jeh Johnson, the secretary of Homeland Security, has explained the influx as a child migration, and justified the government’s welcoming response as acting “in the best interests of the children.” […]
However, that effort has largely failed. Most of the unaccompanied youths say they’re aged 14 to 17, and many are seeking jobs.
By downplaying the number of family units and emphasizing the unaccompanied children, administration officials have been able to deflect blame by simply pointing to the Bush-era Wilberforce Act of 2008, which is aimed at curbing human trafficking, as the reason they A) can’t simply repatriate the Central American children and B) are transporting them across the nation until immigration judges decide whether they can stay (that is, if they ever show up for court).
But is this law really the problem? Jessica Vaughan over at the Center for Immigration Studies says no because the Act, which was never intended to deal with an immigration crisis of this magnitude, shouldn’t even cover the majority of new illegal immigrants. The Central Americans that are crossing into the U.S. are neither victims of trafficking nor unaccompanied, she explains, since they’re coming with family units or are being reunited with families already in the U.S.
Funny how the administration insists they follow the law to the letter in this case, even if it may not really apply to the vast majority of illegal immigrants crossing our border right now.
I’ll leave you with this exchange between Rep. Mike Rogers (R-AL) and DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson at a House Homeland Security hearing in June:
"I've been down to Nogales, where they have the large detention facility and I've seen the folks that we detained be debriefed, cleaned up, put on a bus and sent back," Rogers said. "Why aren't we doing that with these children?"
"Well, first of all, Nogales is being used as a processing center for the unaccompanied children," Johnson replied. "They are leaving Nogales and they're going to HHS custody for shelter and then placement."
"Well, why aren't we putting them on a bus like we normally do and sending them back down to Guatemala?" Rogers asked.
"Because the law requires that I turn them over to HHS, sir," Johnson answered.
"Well, the law required Obamacare to be kicked in two years ago," Rogers said. "And that hasn't stopped the administration before when it wants to do something different. This is a humanitarian crisis. It's a national security crisis for our country."