The Department of Homeland Security has told Congress that for the past six years it has deported just six percent of youths who entered the country illegally, an enormous policy failure that illegal immigrants are seizing on to encourage friends and relatives to raid the border.
Getting into the United States is so easy, and staying here a cinch, that illegals are even telling U.S. Border Patrol officials that they know they will be freed and are using social media to send home photos of their "permisos," documents that set them free.
"Border Patrol agents have confirmed that the new arrivals are saying that they know they will be released after they are processed," said Jessica M. Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. "They have heard this from family and friends who have gone before and shared their experience. They use social media to communicate this, sometimes even texting pictures of what they call their 'permiso,' which is the document they get showing them to appear for a court date years in the future," she told Secrets.
According to a Congress report, DHS told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee that since 2009, it has apprehended some 122,700 unaccompanied children from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras. But it has only "repatriated" about 7,700, or 6 percent.
When added to the administration's practice of releasing most illegal minors who promise to eventually show up at an immigration court hearing and a judge's order to close some detention centers, those looking to flee troubled Latin countries believe that once they get across the border that they are "home free," said a report on the issue from the Senate Homeland panel headed by Wisconsin Sen. Ron Johnson.
A new surge of crossings by minors on the border appear to prove that out, according to Vaughan.
When asked about a new report on the surge and what was fueling it, she said, "I believe that part of the reason for the new surge is that the smugglers now can assure their potential customers that they will no longer face a possibility of extended detention after being processed by the Border Patrol, because a federal judge has ordered DHS to close the family and child detention centers."
Vaughan, the Center's director of policy studies, said that Border Patrol agents have revealed that new arrivals know they will be released once processed and use social media to spread the word in Latin America.
"The simple answer is that they keep coming because they know they will be allowed to stay. Nothing has changed in their homelands that could be driving it; it's all about the pull of Obama administration policies."
Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at firstname.lastname@example.org.