The Gangs of ORR

Remember how the U.S. responded to 911 by setting up the

Department of Homeland Security
(DHS)? DHS was
supposed to defend the homeland and do a better job at
securing its borders than the old INS.

the Homeland Security Act expressly barred the DHS from
enforcing immigration law in some cases.

Certain "Unaccompanied Alien Children" (UACs)
apprehended trying to enter the country illegally are
now the sole responsibility of a federal social services
agency, the

Office of Refugee Resettlement
(ORR). ORR, part of
the Department of Health and Human Services, has
launched its own new agency to deal with UACs, the
Division of Unaccompanied Children.

The new bureaucracy has explicitly stated it has no
interest in enforcing immigration law and does not even
cooperate with the department pledged to perform that

Media accounts

"unaccompanied children"
caught at the border
typically feature

doe-eyed 12 year olds
crossing the border to flee
persecution at home, join up with

charmingly delighted parents
in the U.S. But, for
ORR`s purposes a UAC is any individual who

be non-Mexican and claims to be under the age of
18. The agency has stopped using forensic techniques
formerly employed to

verify claims
of an individual`s age and is pushing
for a law which gives ORR the exclusive right to verify
age for any individual, using as evidence the claimant`s
own statements about his age.

contrast to

adult illegal aliens,
UACs cannot be subjected to

expedited removal.
They generally face a lower
standard of proof of persecution when making an asylum
claim. It is a valuable status. Virtually any minor can
be considered "unaccompanied" even when caught
together with his family. If, as is common, the youth is
held in a detention center separate from his parents, he
is deemed "unaccompanied" and thus a temporary
ward of the federal government. He then has the right to
remain in the country even as the rest of his family is

Mexican minors caught trying to cross the border are
usually returned to Mexico as a

"voluntary return."
This enables them, like
the adults, to attempt another border crossing—penalty-free. This cycle of catch, release and try again can go on
as long as it takes to break through to the interior.
Reportedly, some gang members from


South American
countries prefer to claim to be from
Mexico when caught at the border because of the ease of
eventually gaining unrestrained illegal entry.

Treatment of non-Mexican illegal juvenile aliens
is different. A smuggler who gets a nonMexican
child across a U.S. border or on an airplane that lands
at a U.S. airport can be assured that the child will be
handed over to ORR and then delivered by the U.S.
government to

waiting "sponsors" within America.
are often themselves illegal immigrants.

immigration status of the sponsors is not questioned.
The ORR prefers to release to

, but will release to non relatives and,
even, according to Border Patrol agents, total strangers
to the UAC.

UAC is given a date for a hearing in

immigration court.
The vast majority

ignore this
, joining the ranks of illegal millions.

objective of the "believe the children" brigade
at ORR is to release the children as quickly as possible
and, with its goal of no more than a 2-week detention
period, it clearly does so without adequately checking
the background of the

illegal minor
or the minor`s sponsor. ORR does not
even review databases of

criminal background information
used by federal
immigration enforcement agencies within DHS. Minors have
been released to individuals with addresses subsequently
found to be non-existent.


ORR Care
has officially been in effect for just 8
months, there are already reports of the same
professional "sponsors" showing up repeatedly to
take children off of ORR`s hands. It didn`t take long
for the

smuggling networks
to figure out they have a partner
in the U.S. government.

The residential facilities used to house the illegal aliens until
a sponsor comes forward are run by ORR`s contractors from the refugee
industry such as the
U.S. Catholic
Conference of Bishops
and Lutheran
Immigration and Refugee Services
and resemble summer camps.
Unlike illegal adults, detained illegal alien minors are provided a range of services
including medical and dental care, educational services, recreation and leisure,
weekly counseling sessions with a social worker, group counseling sessions,
religious services of
the minor`s choice, information about free legal assistance, the right to private
visitation and contact with family members and the right to private phone calls.

pays its contractors for long-term resident illegal
alien youth counseling services—in some cases for years,
if the minor is considered particularly dangerous or

mentally unstable.

ORR`s new Division of Unaccompanied Children is so
tightly woven into the advocacy community that its
director, Maureen Dunn, was a

keynote speaker
at a March 18


About 8,000 UACs will go through the system this year,
but numbers could surge under legislation introduced
this year by

Senator Dianne Feinstein.
Sen. Feinstein was mainly
responsible for transferring immigration enforcement for
juvenile aliens from DHS to ORR.

AILA, ORR and the NGO`s involved in refugee services
contracting are pushing for a further expansion of
rights and entitlements for this new class of
immigrants—and employment for themselves.

Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act, sponsored by
the familiar business lobby/left wing coalition and
promoted by the U.N., would guarantee a Guardian Ad
Litem (GAL)—at taxpayer expense—to every UAC in the
system. The GAL would steer the minor through the
immigration process.

Importantly, the bill greatly expands the use of the
Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa as a means to permanent

According to Sen. Feinstein
, the Child Protection
Act "Revamps the Special Immigrant Juvenile Visa to
make it a useful and flexible means of providing
permanent protection for deserving unaccompanied alien
children who are deemed a dependent of the State by the
courts due to abuse, neglect or abandonment."

does one disprove the assertion that a child is

this law passes there probably is not a minor from south
of the border who would not qualify for the privileged
immigration pass. UACs could become another means of
planting an anchor relative for purposes of family chain

Illegal minors are not necessarily harmless lambs, as
the flurry of media reports of

Hispanic gang violence

But, the Administration appears blindly committed to

increasing immigration
—legal or otherwise—every way
it can. From this determination stems impervious support
for every program calculated to increase immigration,
and a willingness to force Americans to pay any price and
assume any risk in the pursuit of its crazy plan.

Allen (
him) is a recovering refugee worker.