My plan was to stay away from this topic, but the more and more I hear the more and more frustrated and angry I become, because if we (the United States) don’t do something about it right now it’s going to become so bad we will not be able to recover fiscally.
According to the latest numbers I could find since October 2013 more than 52,000 unaccompanied minors have fled their homes in Central America (Guatemala, El Salvador, and Honduras) and crossed the border into the United States. And according to a recent Washington Post article the White House will ask for $3.8 billion to deal with the influx.
Now before you get your panties in a bunch and start President bashing. I will have to say that his hands are tied. At least as I see it. Why do I say that?
If you’re not familiar with the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, than you should probably familiarize yourself with it. But the gist of it is to cut down on modern-day slavery and curb child trafficking.
[T]he bill gave substantial new protections to children entering the country alone who were not from Mexico or Canada by prohibiting them from being quickly sent back to their country of origin. Instead, it required that they be given an opportunity to appear at an immigration hearing and consult with an advocate, and it recommended that they have access to counsel. It also required that they be turned over to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the agency was directed to place the minor “in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child” and to explore reuniting those children with family members.
So, somewhere somehow folks found a loop-hole. When the bill was authored and signed into law under the Bush administration no one thought that there would ever be such a surge of unaccompanied minors crossing our borders. Understandable. Naturally one would think that these children crossing the border are in danger of modern-day slavery. However many of them are not. They are facing the real danger of poverty and violence, which if I understand the law is out of its scope.
When the law was passed in 2008 approximately 8,000 children were deported and every year since the number of deportations continue to dramatically drop while the number of minors from Central America dramatically and drastically increase. We, the United States, are going on the ‘honor system’ that they will show up at an immigration hearing, which almost never happens considering they are allowed to leave one of the Refugee Resettlement facilities and live somewhere, perhaps with family or maybe in long-term foster care and collect government assistance.
Some pundants say the reason for the surge is the President’s lax immigration policy. That may definitely play a role, but I can not wholly put the blame on that.
Under current law, the Border Patrol is required to take child migrants who aren’t from Mexico into custody, screen them, and transfer them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (a part of the Department of Health and Human Services).
Once again there is the political finger-pointing game going on in Washington and meanwhile we are being overrun with minors claiming refugee status and causing a financial drain to an already fiscally unstable economy. As well as putting a financial burden on DHHS and the court system, but what do we do?
Send them back? That is definitely the least expensive thing to do, but is it the moral or humanitarian thing to do? Or should morality and humanitarism even come into play when you really can’t afford it?
Somehow we’ve tied our hands in this matter, and until the Politicians stop playing the blame game and do something about it there’s a definite possibility we’re going to be out $3.8 billion. For starters.
Read something about this on The Real News. They say big corporation, who have their hands in everything it seems, are raking in the dough on this one. They have a lot of great stories on there that our media darlings never tell us about. Of course most Americans blame the immigrants. Great article.
I wouldn’t doubt that big corporations have something to do with this. A lot of big corporations have the politicians in their back pockets. The politicians make sure that certain things happen or don’t happen and the big corporations make sure the politicians get re-elected. You know the old I scratch your back, you scratch my back scheme.
It ain’t humanitarian to continue to rob our children and grand children. SEND THEM BACK!
And there in lies part of the problem. We send them back and then it’s not humanitarian. So, we’re kind of caught between a rock and hard place, especially with the law and how it’s written. They’ve found a loophole and their working it. And we need to close it by changing the law.
And you can blame the president because he ordered by executive fiat the dream act.
As much as I’d like to blame him on the passage of the Dream Act, I really can’t. I had to do a bit more research on the Dream Act and from what I could find out the bill had been on table since 2001 and had been scraped and rewritten several times. I looked at several websites including the government’s immigration website and there is verbiage the Dream Act is there as well and inserted long before the dream act was actually passed. Certain verbiage was inserted under George W. Bush’s presidency. And from what I understand of the DREAM Act, it does not apply to any illegal immigrant child entering the country today. The one thing I have never liked about the Dream Act and take great issue with is that it allows non-U.S. residents/citizens to apply for federal funding for their higher education.
I know folks are looking to point the finger on this, but sadly the President’s hands are tied because these children are coming from Central America. If they were coming from Mexico or Canada, Border Patrol could easily stop them and send them back. But because the law George W. Bush signed specifically focuses on minors from Central America being trafficked are free to come here and be placed in long term foster care or with relatives and we trust them to come back for an immigration hearing. So, therin lies the loophole as far as I can tell. They don’t and as a result we have millions of illigal immigrants here.
The parents of these minor children are paying a lot of money to less than desirable people to get their kids safely to the border and the children have been coached in what to say to border patrol once they get there.
If we send them back, which I’m not opposed to and think we should be able to, we would be in violation of our own law but most importantly we’d be in violation of the humanitarian part of the law, which is save them from child trafficking. The reason the law was created in the irst place. So, how do you determine if the child was ever trafficked or is in danger of being trafficked?
Unfortunately, the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and the Immigration Law, which I think most of us are basing send the back on are two different things. If their not in danger of child trafficking then by all means send them back and I believe most of them are not.
I don’t know the answer, but there clearly is a problem that needs to immediate attention and correction.