It’s impossible to avoid the coverage of the “immigration crisis” on our southern border. The media’s pervasive use of disinformation terminology and appeals to morality of a sentient populace is employed to shape public perception on the humanitarian tragedy unfolding daily in the news. The problems are manifold, but the creation of the crisis is causally singular. And the solution, at least to the cause, could be equally simple.
Just since October of last year, there have been nearly 60,000 children taken into custody for entering our country illegally. The majority of them are from Central America and unaccompanied by an adult.
The media report this as an “immigration crisis.” It is not. The government’s own definition of an immigrant is very precise: “persons admitted as legal permanent residents (LPRs) of the United States.” It would be more accurately described as an invasion, which is an “incursion by a large number of people.” As a friend sent me this past week, “Sneaking into a country doesn’t make you an ‘immigrant’ any more than breaking into a house makes you ‘part of the family.’”
Secondarily, the crisis with the children is man-made, and there is one man who is most responsible for it. Starting as early as August 2011, the administration started using “prosecutorial discretion” in applying the law against those who enter the country illegally. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Janet Napolitano issued a communiqué stating that removing illegal aliens was not an “enforcement priority” of the Obama administration.
Almost immediately after that initial statement, DHS memos evidence an even less subtle approach; a broader “administrative amnesty,” would be applied especially for young people who would have benefited from the DREAM Act, which was never passed by congress. One such DHS memo to the director of United States Citizen and Immigration Services, indicated, “In the absence of Comprehensive Immigration Reform, CIS can extend benefits and/or protections to many individuals and groups by issuing new guidance and regulations.”
Internal memos clearly identify the motive behind such moves to be political. One such internal memo, uncovered by Pro Publica, stated, “The Secretary would face criticism that she is abdicating her charge to enforce the immigration laws,” but expressed hope she would “be viewed as breaking through the Washington gridlock in an effort to solve tough problems at a time when providing Latino voters with something they can support will be a win-win for us all.”
Then for the icing on the cake, just five months before the 2012 presidential election, “Obama announced that he would stop deportations for a half a million people who were brought to the United States as children. For this, he was rewarded with more than 70 percent of the Hispanic vote,” as reported by Nationalinterest.org.
Each of these official and unofficial announcements have yielded the administration’s apparently desired effect of escalating the invasion of our southern border. News regarding the relaxation of U.S. restrictions against illegal entry into the country travels like wildfire especially through the “coyote” grapevine, those who transport people across the border illegally.
This relaxation of deportation and border security laws is borne out by the data. According to the Los Angeles Times, “the number of immigrants younger than 18 who were deported or turned away from ports of entry declined from 8,143 in 2008 to 1,669 last year. There were 95 minors deported from the entire interior of the country last year. At the same time, the number of unaccompanied alien children arriving from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras exploded from less than 4,000 several years ago to over 40,000 since last October.”
Last weekend Rep. Kay Granger (R-TX), along with several other congressmen, met with President of Honduras Juan Orlando Hernandez and President of Guatemala Otto Pérez Molina and their wives. According to Granger, the leaders “want their children back.”
“We found out that the president and the first ladies of Guatemala and Honduras want their children back and they’re willing to cooperate with us to send their children back as quickly as possible,” she said.
In spite of claims the children are fleeing violence in their home countries, a new report indicates they’re coming primarily for amnesty. Two weeks ago the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), which is led by the DEA with cooperation from Homeland Security, reported, “Of the 230 migrants interviewed, 219 cited the primary reason for migrating to the United States was the perception of U.S. immigration laws granting free passes or permisos to UAC (unaccompanied children) and adult females OTMs (other than Mexicans) traveling with minors,” the report said.
Clearly the administration has created this humanitarian crisis by its own policies. If they wanted to stop the illegal migration, it wouldn’t take much effort. Rep. Granger indicated that the Central American presidents she met with said it would be “very helpful” if the president would reverse his stance. They said a great start would be for the president to simply state, “Don’t send your children to the United States illegally because we will send them back, they will not complete their journey.”
The president had a perfect opportunity to send such a message when he was visiting Texas discussing the issue with Governor Rick Perry. He created the crisis with administration policies, and he could end it, if he wanted to.
Associated Press award winning columnist Richard Larsen is President of Larsen Financial, a brokerage and financial planning firm in Pocatello, Idaho and is a graduate of Idaho State University with degrees in Political Science and History and coursework completed toward a Master’s in Public Administration. He can be reached at [email protected].