Big surge in illegal children, families crossing the border
The number of illegal alien children crossing the border alone has gone up more than 100% over the same period last year while the number of families trying to enter the country illegally has soared by 173%.
If the definition of crazy is doing the same thing over and over while getting the same result, the administration is ready for a padded room.
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Democrats are feeling bullish about their prospects with Hispanic voters given the tough rhetoric coming from GOP presidential front-runner Donald Trump and other Republican candidates.
President Obama won nearly 70 percent of the Hispanic vote in 2012, and Democrats believe Hillary Clinton could improve on that number if Republicans continue their hostile rhetoric over illegal immigration.
As a result, the Department of Homeland Security’s planned campaign to aggressively deport hundreds of immigrant families fleeing violence in Central America is causing concern on the left — for reasons of both politics and policy.
“As of this moment, the distinction between Democrats and Republicans has never been clearer,” said Frank Sharry, executive director of the immigrant-rights group America's Voice. “That distinction could clearly be blurred if they start raiding young mothers who have fled violence.”
Sharry said it should be “embarrassing” for the administration that Trump is taking credit for the plan, adding, "That should make them think two or three times about following through."
The Washington Post reported last week that federal immigration officials are readying a series of raids that could begin as soon as January, the first major effort to remove Central American families who flocked to the U.S. during last year’s migrant crisis.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) did not confirm or deny the details of the newspaper’s report.
Activists argue the U.S. should find ways to provide a safe haven for those fleeing violence in Central America, not send them back to their home countries.
Workplace raids were a central fixture of President George W. Bush’s immigration enforcement strategy. But immigrant-rights groups argue that sending agents into homes and communities around the country would provoke backlash against Obama by many in the Hispanic community.
“The idea of raids to send these vulnerable families back to the violence seems unnecessarily harsh,” said Sharry.
The Clinton campaign delivered a more measured response, saying she has “real concerns” about the reports.
"She believes it is critical that everyone has a full and fair hearing, and that our country provides refuge to those that need it,” said campaign spokeswoman Xochitl Hinojosa.
The issue of migrant families fleeing Central America has posed challenges for Clinton. She supports a path to citizenship for many undocumented immigrants, but in 2014 she said many unaccompanied children from the region “should be sent back” home, a comment that drew criticism from immigrant-rights groups.
Clinton stood by her remarks, arguing it’s crucial for the U.S. government to discourage adults and children from crossing into the country illegally.
But the former secretary of State’s position puts her at risk of being outflanked on her left by her opponents, who have publicly broken with the Obama administration over the plan.
Clinton’s chief rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), said last Thursday he was “very disturbed” by the reports. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O’Malley last week called for a stop to “mindless deportations,” saying the plan is “completely at odds with our character as a nation.”
Rep. Henry Cuellar (D), who represents a south Texas district that sits along the U.S.-Mexico border, disagrees, saying there are upsides to the plan.
“In my district, people say that if they have their day in court, then the law should be followed and ICE should do what they need to do,” said Cuellar, who has endorsed Clinton’s presidential campaign.
“People that live near the border see things differently than the national immigration advocates, and I know that for a fact."
The congressman said the plan “might cause difficulty for people like Hillary Clinton, but I hope at they end of the day they follow what the law is."
The Obama administration reportedly feels it has little choice but to order the deportations.
The strategy is meant to deter another wave of immigrants from crossing the border. The report came as the number of Central American children and families has risen in the past few months, prompting fears that a migration crisis similar to the one last summer could happen again.
In October and November, Border Patrol apprehended 12,505 families along the southwest border, compared with 4,577 families during those same months last year.
Administration officials indicated the plan would fall under enforcement priorities announced last November, which focus on deporting criminals, individuals who pose a national security threat and recently apprehended border crossers. The operation would only target those who received a final order of deportation from an immigration judge, the Post reported.
“Our border is not open to illegal immigration, and if individuals come here illegally, do not qualify for asylum or other relief, and have final orders of removal, they will be sent back consistent with our laws and our values,” said ICE press secretary Gillian Christensen.
Groups that support stricter immigration policies have said a crackdown on Central American migrants is badly needed but remain skeptical the operation will have a deterrent effect.
“I don't think what they've announced, assuming it even happens, will be enough to deter the ongoing surge from Central America,” Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, wrote in an email.
Krikorian believes the plan is “intended to enable Hillary to say to voters in Ohio and Virginia that the Democrats stand between the extremes of … people like Trump and the kind-hearted but unrealistic open-borders crowd.”
Sylvan Lane contributed.
101 Percent Increase of Illegal Immigrant Minors Crossing Border, Says DHS
The Department of Homeland Security reports a 101 percent increase of illegal immigrant minors crossing into the U.S. through the Texas border.Earlier this month, the Rio Grand Valley Border Patrol sector reported a 101 percent increase of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) and a 154 percent increase of family units crossing the border illegally. These figures reflect apprehension numbers in October and November 2015 and compare them to the same time period last year, KRGV 5 reported.
Border Patrol said they’ve caught more than 300,000 people trying to cross into the country illegally, actually reflecting 337,117 apprehensions nationwide. DHS said this is a 30 percent decrease from 2014, also reporting Immigration and Customs Enforcement removed or returned 235,413 individuals considered border security public safety threats, up 9 percent over the past two years.
Because of the latest influx, Gov. Greg Abbott ordered National Guard troops to remain on Texas’ Rio Grande Valley border adjacent to Mexico. It is not known how many guardsmen will remain in the area or for how long.
The DHS is planning nationwide raids to deport that could begin as soon as January, targeting those people who crossed the border illegally during the 2014 border surge. According to KRGV 5, Immigration and Customs Enforcement will focus on adults and children who were ordered to be removed from the country by an immigration judge. Officials said many of those orders of removal could be in response to those illegal immigrants not showing up for their immigration hearings.
In November, Breitbart Texas’ Bob Price reported on the flood of UAC’s crossing the border during September and October. The White House seemed surprised about the increase despite being warned in September by Texas Governor Greg Abbott.
In December Breitbart Texas reported Governor Abbott being forced to issue state emergency funds to two counties in North Texas where “temporary” camps for UAC’s were being established.
“Texas is overrun now with people who are coming to Texas from across the globe,” the Texas governor said.