On Monday, Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-IL) blamed America’s drug consumption for the spike in the number of illegal immigrants from Central America.
Gutierrez, who is one of the most vocal pro-amnesty voices in Congress, said that U.S. drug consumption empowers the drug cartels that have destabilized the governments of Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala, which are the three nations from which most of the current migrants have fled.
“How do the drug cartels maintain their power? With American guns bought with American dollars because of American consumption of the drugs,” Gutierrez said on MSNBC’s Andrea Mitchell Reports. “The drugs don’t stay in Honduras. They don’t stay in Mexico. They come straight to the streets of the United States of America. And so, I think we have a great responsibility in the debilitating of those countries.”
Gutierrez did not mention that there were fewer illegal immigrants who entered the country before 2012, even though there was plenty of violence in Central America and demand for drugs in America. But the number of illegal immigrants entering the country from Central America drastically increased after 2012, which was when President Barack Obama unilaterally enacted the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program, which many have blamed for luring illegal immigrants from Central America:
According to the Christian Science Monitor, “during the decade preceding fiscal year 2012, the federal government agency tasked with caring for unaccompanied minors who cross the border illegally dealt with an average of 7,000 to 8,000 cases a year.” In fiscal year 2011, there were 6,560, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
Yet, as the Monitor noted, the following year, when Obama enacted DACA, “the number jumped to 13,625,” and at least 50,000 have entered illegally since October of last year. Officials estimate at least 150,000-160,000 more will try next year.
Though White House officials have gone on a public relations campaign to tell Central Americans that they will not receive amnesty, many illegal immigrants have said they traveled to America believing the Obama administration would never deport them if they made it across the U.S.-Mexico border.
Rep. Loretta Sanchez (D-CA), who has campaigned for amnesty with Gutierrez, has also blamed drug consumption in America for the border crisis.