Testifying before the House Homeland Security Committee Tuesday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said illegal immigrant children from Central America are hopping on so-called “death trains” with the false belief that they will get “permisos” to remain indefinitely in the United States.
Johnson said that the children who make the “exceedingly dangerous” journey fall off the death trains because they “fall asleep or they can’t hold on any longer.”
He said they come with the belief that “I can get a piece of paper that says, ‘Welcome to the United States, You Are Free.'”
“That’s not the case,” Johnson said.
As Breitbart Texas has reported, illegal immigrant children are hopping on “El Tren de la Muerte,” or Death Train, by jumping onto a moving freight car, and “minors who cannot successfully pull themselves onto the traveling cars fall onto the tracks – many are left with extreme injuries.”
Chairman Mike McCaul (R-TX) noted that at least 52,000 unaccompanied illegal immigrant minors have crossed the border since October of last year and nearly 150,000 more may attempt to next year because they believe the Obama administration, which ignored the warning signs, will not deport them.
“This is a crisis that has been in the making for years – one that we should have seen coming – but few concrete actions have been taken. The Department of Homeland Security, and the U.S. government as a whole, has been slow to act, turning a blind eye to the warning signs,” he said. “The tragic fact is these children are making a dangerous journey based on misinformation and the false promise of amnesty.”
Two in three Americans disapprove of the way the Obama administration is handling the immigration issue, according to Gallup, and administration officials – including President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, and Johnson – started a public relations campaign last week to let parents in Central America know that their children are not eligible for amnesty.
Yet the Obama administration, with the help of some Republicans, has continued to push for amnesty legislation. Obama unilaterally enacted the Deferred Action program to grant temporary amnesty to some illegal immigrants and has threatened to unilaterally ease deportations. According to McCaul, these previous actions and words may have already done enough damage to lure illegal immigrant children to America.
“What is new is a series of Executive Actions by the Administration to grant immigration benefits to children outside the purview of the law – a relaxed enforcement posture – along with talk of comprehensive immigration reform,” he said. “It is beyond dispute that such a narrative shapes behavior and encourages people to come to our country illegally.”