On Monday evening, the White House attacked Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX) for blaming President Barack Obama’s lawlessness for the recent surge of border crossings and the humanitarian crisis that has ensued.
Illegal immigrants are reportedly flooding across the border believing they will be given amnesty if they make it to the United States. Cruz may have reached his conclusion based on what illegal immigrants who are pouring into the country have been actually telling immigration officials.
White House spokesman Josh Earnest, however, according to The Hill, “scoffed at Cruz, saying he would not ‘put a lot of stock in the ability of Republican members of Congress to divine the thoughts and insights of children in Central American countries.'”
Earnest was responding to Cruz’s remarks to Breitbart Texas reporter Kristin Tate that the humanitarian crisis has been a “direct consequence of Obama’s lawlessness,” like his implementation of the Deferred Action Program for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program by executive fiat.
“The parents think, ‘If I send my child [to the U.S.], my child will have amnesty.’ That’s what the president of the U.S. has said,” Cruz said. “It is the exact opposite of a humane approach to immigration or to securing our borders.”
As The Hill noted, the year after Obama signed the temporary amnesty program for some illegal immigrant DREAMers, there was a “92 percent increase” in arrests at the border, according to the Border Patrol. Obama has also indicated that he would unilaterally act to ease deportations if Congress does not pass an amnesty bill.
The Los Angeles Times reported that illegal immigrants who are flooding across the border have said they went north only after reports had been “circulating throughout Central America that parents with children are allowed to stay in the United States indefinitely.”
In fact, the Times reports, “according to immigration advocates and Guatemalan consular officials in Phoenix who have been working to help find shelter for families stranded at bus stations,” that “the fact that so many parents with children have been freed to travel within the U.S. has sent rumors flying through Central American nations that parents will not be detained in the U.S. if they arrive with a child – spurring even more families to launch the journey.”
According to the Houston Chronicle, detained illegal immigrants are given “a packet of U.S. government-issued documents ordering them to report to immigration officials within 15 days of landing at their new destination, and to appear in immigration court on a set date.” That is as good as a visa in the minds of some.
Edilberto Lanza Mejia, “a 26-year-old from Honduras holding his infant son,” told the Chronicle, “It is a permit to enter the United States.” Mejia eventually called family in North Carolina and was transported there.
An illegal immigrant from Guatemala told a Texas television station that the message being spread in Central America has been, “Go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away,” as Breitbart Texas reported.
Earlier in the year, when even House Republicans like House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) declared that one of the “founding principles” of the country was not punishing children for the mistakes of their parents, United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) National Council President Kenneth Palinkas warned that such statements may lead more illegal immigrants to cross the border illegally hoping to get amnesty.