ICE Union Director Chris Crane: Border Chaos Now Includes Thousands of Unaccompanied Children

It was a pleasant surprise to see ICE Union Director Chris Crane appear on the Mike Huckabee show Saturday. (The host was a squish on immigration enforcement when he ran for President in 2008.)

Crane reported that few House members have been interested in what enforcement officers see on the ground, just as the Gang of Eight Senators ignored the offers of concerned police to share their experiences.

Crane spoke about the current border anarchy, where lawlessness has increased because of Washington’s talk of amnesty:

CRANE: “One thing I would like to tell them, Governor, is that at this moment we have a humanitarian crisis on our southern border. Our southern border is being overrun right now in certain areas by people coming here people seeking the DREAM Act, seeking amnesty, and we’re just talking about it at this point, and most problematic, most troubling and alarming is the number of children coming across our border all by themselves, seeking the DREAM Act, being turned over to members of drug cartels and human traffickers.

Children that are infants — nine months old, 14 months old — again, put in the arms of drug cartel members to carry them across the border, and it’s so out of control, just one office is averaging over 2000 of these unaccompanied children each and every month. We’re anticipating on the southern border this year that we’re going to apprehend approximately 50,000 of these unaccompanied children, and they’re coming across the border by themselves. Everyone up on capitol hill and these special interest groups that say what we’re doing right now is the humane thing to do or the right thing to do or even the Christian thing to do are dead wrong.”

Huckabee then remarked that he hadn’t heard about this aspect of border chaos. Actually, the increasing flood of unaccompanied kids has been reported. A recent Wall Street Journal piece had an even larger number than Crane’s projected for this year — 60,000:

Flow of Unaccompanied Minors Tests U.S. Immigration Agencies, Wall Street Journal, January 29, 2014

LOS ANGELES—A record number of minors traveling alone are entering the U.S. illegally, presenting a new humanitarian and fiscal challenge as Congress grapples with the fate of 11 million undocumented residents already here.

In a report to be released Thursday, the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops forecasts that 60,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America will cross the Southwest border into the U.S. this year. That is up from less than 25,000 the year before, and just 5,800 a decade ago. Border-watchers say it highlights violence and unrest in several Central American countries. Minors who cross from Mexico are almost always repatriated.

Since 2011, the U.S. “has seen an unprecedented increase in the number of unaccompanied migrating children” crossing the U.S.-Mexico border, the Washington-based bishops’ group reports, citing a surge in Border Patrol apprehensions. [. . .]

Perhaps Central Americans have heard that even Republicans are soft touches for children, as shown by the Kid Amnesty, sponsored by House Majority Leader Eric Cantor. At any rate, the foreigners have responded rationally by shipping thousands of kiddies to El Norte where rich Uncle Sucker will pay for their education and upkeep.

A December article in the Washington Times noted how DHS officers aid the illegal kid smuggling by actually delivering the tykes to illegal alien parents in America.

That’s the new improved America: welfare agency to the lawbreakers of the world, where the citizens’ taxes support crime.

Homeland Security helps smuggle illegal immigrant children into the U.S., By Stephen Dinan, Washington Times, December 19, 2013

A federal judge in Texas late last week accused the Obama administration of aiding drug cartels, saying that instead of enforcing immigration laws, agents knowingly helped smuggle an illegal immigrant girl into the U.S. to live with her mother, also an illegal immigrant, in Virginia.

In a 10-page order, Judge Andrew S. Hanen said the case was the fourth such case he’s seen over the last month, and in each instance Customs and Border Protection agents have helped to locate and deliver the children to their illegal immigrant parents.

The judge said in each case, the taxpayers footed the bill for flights — including flights to multiple locations in different parts of the U.S. that it took to find one of the children’s parents.

“The DHS is rewarding criminal conduct instead of enforcing the current laws. More troubling, the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children,” the judge said, adding that some of the children have been made to swim the Rio Grande River or traverse remote areas as part of the smuggling.

In the case before the judge last week, a 10-year-old girl whose mother, Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, paid a smuggler to get the daughter from El Salvador across the border and to Virginia.

The agents apprehended the smuggler and the young girl, and prosecuted the smuggler, but delivered the daughter to Ms. Salmeron Santos in Virginia, even though agents were aware she was in the country illegally.

“The DHS, instead of enforcing our border security laws, actually assisted the criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals,” the judge said. “It completed the mission of the conspiracy initiated by Salmeron Santos. In summary, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, the government took direct steps to help the individuals who violated it. A private citizen would, and should, be prosecuted for this conduct.”

Judge Hanen said that Homeland Security officials regularly testify that the drug cartels control immigrant smuggling operations along the border, and he said the department’s actions in helping finish the smuggling actually end up benefitting the very cartels U.S. officials say they are trying to damage.

“The big economic losers in this scenario are the citizens of the United States who, by virtue of this DHS policy, are helping fund these evil ventures with their tax dollars,” the judge wrote.

Homeland Security officials told the court they won’t prosecute the illegal immigrant parents for their role in the smuggling, and Judge Hanen said it appeared to be a department-wide policy. Officials did say they are considering trying to deport Salmeron Santos, though it was unclear whether that had been done.

The cases highlight a growing problem along the border of what the government terms unaccompanied alien children, or UACs. Apprehensions of UACs jumped 81 percent from 2010 to 2012, suggesting more and more illegal immigrant parents are taking the risk of having their children leave home to join them in the U.S.

The young children present sympathetic cases, just as do those already in the country, known as Dreamers, after the Dream Act legislation.

President Obama last year announced a new policy to halt deportations of those young illegal immigrants, arguing they were brought to the U.S. by their parents with no say in the decision, and so should be allotted special treatment.

Immigrant-rights advocates now want the parents of the Dreamers to be spared deportation, arguing it is morally wrong to separate families.

But Judge Hanen said in the cases before him the illegal immigrants made that decision themselves, often years before. In the case of the 10-year-old, he said Ms. Salmeron Santos chose to come to the U.S. without her daughter years ago.

“She purposefully chose this course of action. Her decision to smuggle the child across the border, even if motivated by the best of motives, is not an excuse for the United States government to further a criminal conspiracy, and by doing so, encourage others to break the law and endanger additional children,” the judge wrote.

“To put this in another context, the DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation/exportation. Legally, this situation is no different.”