The mother of an illegal immigrant child who was detained by the U.S. Border Patrol said her son made the treacherous trek to America after hearing that the Obama administration would not deport him if he made it across the U.S-Mexico border.
On Sunday’s Al Punto show on Univision, host Jorge Ramos asked Marlen Mena Bautista, whose 15-year-old Honduran son “was recently detained by the Border Patrol,” whether her son decided to come to the U.S. because he “heard stories of U.S. leniency at the border.”
Bautista, the mother, told Ramos that she thinks her son came to the United States because he believed what was being said in Central America – that the Obama administration will allow children to remain once they enter the country. Here is the exchange, according to the Center for Immigration Studies:
RAMOS: Do you have the perception that once children cross the border to the United States, they won’t be deported?
BAUTISTA: That is what is being said in Central America, almost all the time… Almost everyone is saying it.
RAMOS: So what is being said in Central America… is that they don’t deport children… So once they enter this country, they stay in this country?
BAUTISTA: Yes. I imagine that is why he decided to come.
Ramos also reportedly asked Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) that if “whatever Central American child who comes to the United States is not going to be deported… aren’t we sending an extremely powerful message to Central America that will mean that many more children will continue to come?”
Illegal immigrants from Central America have been lured to the United States after Democrats and Republicans have pushed for amnesty legislation. Meanwhile President Barack Obama has unilaterally enacted the Deferred Action temporary amnesty program while threatening to ease deportations with executive actions. Illegal immigrants have been flagging down Border Patrol agents to gain entry into America, believing that the papers they are given to appear before immigration judges are instead “permisos” to remain in the United States indefinitely.
Ramos, the partisan albeit hard-hitting interviewer, has wondered on Twitter if there may be a “wet feet, dry feet policy” regarding illegal immigrants from Central America, by which, just like Cubans, Central American immigrants are given leniency under U.S. law while those from Mexico and Haiti are not.
Central American wet feet, dry feet policy for children? Many families think that if they cross the U.S. border,their kids won’t be deported
— JORGE RAMOS (@jorgeramosnews) June 11, 2014