Judicial Watch Sues Feds to Obtain Border Crisis Records

Judicial Watch Sues Feds to Obtain Border Crisis Records

Watchdog group Judicial Watch is filing a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) lawsuit against President Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS). The group is requesting “all records” related to aa Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO) Field Office Juvenile Coordination meeting that took place in February — obtaining such records could shed light onto whether or not the federal government planned major border crisis that occurred this year. 

ERO is a division of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) that apprehends and removes illegal aliens who “present a danger to national security or are a risk to public safety, as well as those who enter the United States illegally.”

According to Judicial Watch, Juvenile Coordinators are supposed to carry out ERO’s mission with respect to unaccompanied minors who entered the U.S. illegally. 

Judicial Watch is filing is filing their lawsuit after the DHS did not respond to a July FOIA request seeking records from the February meeting. The records sought include “schedule, participants, training materials, PowerPoint presentations, handouts, [and] policies,” according to a Judicial Watch press release obtained by Breitbart Texas. 

According to Judicial Watch, Juvenile Coordinators are supposed to carry out ERO’s mission with respect to unaccompanied minors who entered the U.S. illegally. 

“Our latest lawsuit is one of several filed by Judicial Watch to expose the truth about Obama’s amnesty disaster,” Judicial Watch President Tom Fitton said. “We have little doubt that the Obama administration knew from its own immigration enforcement personnel that its refusal to enforce immigration law was going to cause a border crisis.  Yet, rather than secure the border and follow the law, the Obama administration aided and abetted the human trafficking operations that planted hundreds of thousands illegal aliens all over the nation – overwhelming our schools and putting the health and safety of Americans at risk.  And now President Obama wants to grant illicit amnesty to those who rushed here this summer thanks to his previous lawless amnesty!”

Following the ERO meeting in February, the University of Texas at El Paso (UTEP) released a report which claimed that ICE officials blamed lack of consequences for the spike in illegal immigration. The report said, “Both Border Patrol and ICE ERO officers agreed that the lack of deterrence for crossing the US-Mexican border has impacted the rate at which they apprehend UACs. Officers are certain that UACs are aware of the relative lack of consequences they will receive when apprehended at the U.S. border.”

The report continued, “UTEP was informed that smugglers of family members of UACs understand that once a UAC is apprehended for illegal entry into the United States, the individual will be re-united with a U.S. based family member pending the disposition of the immigration hearing. This process appears to be exploited by illegal alien smugglers and family members in the United States who wish to reunite with separated children.”

There are several indicators that at the beginning of 2014, ICE knew that a border crisis was forthcoming. 

In their press release, Judicial Watch noted that shortly before the February ERO meeting, on January 29, ICE posted a job listing online. The agency was looking to hire “escorts” for unaccompanied alien children. Such escorts would be paid to provide “on-demand” transportation services for illegal immigrant minors. The job listing stated, “There will be approximately 65,000 UAC in total: 25% local ground transport, 25% via ICE charter and 50% via commercial air.”

More recently, President Obama has stated that the border crisis is over. But this contradicts a recent statement by the new director of U.S. Citizen and Immigration Services, who said that the feds are currently “preparing for another potential surge.” 

Follow Kristin on Twitter @KristinBTate.

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