White House officials report that the influx of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) arrests at the border resulted in a backlog of more than 76,000 hearings in immigration courts. Officials say this is up from only 4,000 backlogged cases in Fiscal Year 2010.
The increase in backlogged immigration hearings comes not only from minors apprehended at the border but from a 636 percent increase during the past year in UACs presenting themselves at the nation’s ports of entry, National Review reported. These numbers are compounded by the 315 percent increase (October 2017 – February 2018) in illegal immigrants attempting to use children so they can pose as family units to gain entry to the U.S., White House officials told the news outlet.
The White House blames Democrats in Congress for failing to address border security and immigration reform.
“Democrat policies preserving catastrophic asylum loopholes have led to a 600,000 caseload backlog that swamps out legitimate asylum seekers while overwhelming the entire U.S. immigration system and perpetuating a hemispheric migration crisis at enormous cost to U.S. taxpayers and American lives,” officials stated.
Since October 1, 2016, immigration officials released more than 110,000 UACs into the U.S. interior, National Review stated, quoting reports from the Department of Health and Human Services. Legal loopholes the White House seeks to close prevent the administration from being able to reject the minors at the border or remove them from the interior of the U.S. Of the 7,635 UACs placed with sponsors during the first three months of this fiscal year, only five were removed from the U.S.
Officials stated that about 6,000 UACs fail to appear in court each year after receiving a Notice to Appear when they are released into the U.S. Reports indicate that 90 percent of the UACs ordered removed are due to minors failing to appear for the hearings.
In additions, the high percentage of unaccompanied minors flocking to the U.S. from El Salvador and Honduras have become easy recruits for the hyperviolent MS-13 gang. Nearly 500 individuals arrested during this year’s Operation Matador gang crackdown “crossed the border as unaccompanied minors—that’s more than 36% of those arrested — all of which were confirmed as MS-13 gang members.” officials stated.
White House officials stated:
The Administration has repeatedly advocated for the closure to federal immigration loopholes that would allow for the swift, safe, and expeditious return of illegal alien minors, adults, and families at the southern border. However, the Democratic Party has repeatedly opposed these loophole closures in favor of preserving “catch-and-release” policies that make a mockery of national sovereignty. The Administration is hopeful that the Democratic Party will abandon its position of open borders and will support the Administration’s common-sense reforms to close catch-and-release loopholes, so all illegal aliens caught at the border can be returned home expeditiously.