Kevin McCarthy Slams Democrats’ Protection for Child-Smuggling by Cartels

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) speaks during a weekly news conference May 16, 2019 on Capitol Hill in Washington, DC. (Photo by Zach Gibson/Getty Images)
Zach Gibson/Getty Images

GOP leader Kevin McCarthy is slamming the House Democrats’ border emergency bill for choking agency cooperation against the cartels’ business of smuggling children to foreign parents living illegally in the United States.

“Let’s talk about how [Democrats] make this problem even worse,” McCarthy said in a floor speech late Tuesday night, about the $4.5 billion supplemental spending bill. He continued:

After weeks of doing nothing and denying that a crisis exists, they are offering legislation that is misguided and is political. They are once again taking what should be a bipartisan issue and inserting partisan poison pills.

McCarthy specifically targeted the Democrats’ protection for the cartels’ lucrative child-smuggling business, saying:

I’m not sure anybody’s read the bill. I’m not sure even those on the other side know what’s in it. Here’s how it’s worse — [it says the] Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services [HHS] cannot share information about the sponsors of [Unaccompanied Alien] children [UAC].

Think about that for one moment. They’re making sure two departments cannot share information in their own government. This [sharing] is necessary to ensure children are not placed with human traffickers or other predators. Maybe if you had a little time, maybe if you didn’t care about politics, you’d allow a little sharing of information for the children.

The GOP members of the Senate appropriations panel have already accepted a similar pro-cartel gag order which was demanded by Democrats for the Senate’s version of the spending bill.

The Democrats’ stealth protection for the cartel-run, child-smuggling business is also being hit by William Gheen, director of the Americans for Legal Immigration PAC.

The “UAC protections … we consider to be full-blown AMNESTY FOR ILLEGAL ALIENS,” Gheen said in an email to his grassroots network, which helped derail amnesty bills in 2006 and subsequent years.

“We expect a full-blown amnesty to come out of this bill before it is done, probably in the [House and Senate] conference committee,” Gheen told Breitbart News. “Aliens will not be deported and will continue to stream into the country in unprecedented numbers,” he said, blaming President Donald Trump and his aides for not aggressively denouncing Congress’ tacit support for the cartels’ smuggling

“We need Trump voters to mobilize in massive numbers against this amnesty … The only thing that can stop it is for Trump voters to pressure him away from this rotten deal,” he said. Trump is willing to make a DACA amnesty deal, even though “he said he was going to deport all DACA dreamers,” Gheen added.

White House officials have threatened a veto of the Democrats’ border funding bill.

The veto threat highlighted the Democrats’ refusal to fund extra detention beds, and the Democrats’ effort to shrink the Return to Mexico program. But the veto threat also cites the Democrats’ effort to block information-sharing by HHS. According to the White House document:

Among other troublesome provisions that undermine child welfare, the bill would block the Administration from modifying certain Health and Human Services (HHS) directives in order to prevent children from being placed in danger in the future

The bar on information sharing was pushed by Democrats into the 2019 budget, which was approved in February. The Democrats acted after the Department of Homeland Security began narrowing the pipeline by deporting some of the illegal-immigrant parents who tried to pick up — or “sponsor” — their children from shelters run by the Department of Health and Human Services.

Officials say the vast majority of the sponsors are either the parents or the in-laws of the UAC teenagers, and many sponsors are also illegal migrants who have paid cartel-linked coyotes to deliver their teenagers to the Homestead camp, via the border agencies.

This joint cartel-to-agency smuggling route is dubbed the “UAC pipeline,” and it has been open since at least 2013. So far, the cartels earned a fortune by delivering a huge share of the roughly 250,000 children and youths who have passed through the federally-operated pipeline since 2009.

The February curb on information-sharing says ICE cannot use HHS information to deport illegal-migrant sponsors. According to the Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2019:

a) None of the funds provided by this Act or any other Act, or provided from any accounts in the Treasury of the United States derived by the collection of fees available to the components funded by this Act, may be used by the Secretary of Homeland Security to place in detention, remove, refer for a decision whether to initiate removal proceedings, or initiate removal proceedings against a sponsor, potential sponsor, or member of a household of a sponsor or potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien child (as defined in section 462(g) of the Homeland Security Act of 2002 (6 U.S.C. 279(g))) based on information shared by the Secretary of Health and Human Services.

In his speech, McCarthy also slammed other measures in the House bill. He said:

Organizations like Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Department of Justice are underfunded. Requests for pay and overtime costs for border patrol agents are denied … immigration judges do not get the resources they need for additional staff, courtroom space, and equipment … And additional funding to investigate human traffickers, who you know are smuggling children across the border, is not included.

Maybe that’s why you want to rush this bill to the floor. Maybe that’s why you don’t want to give people the opportunity to read it. Because how will you answer that? How will you answer, that additional funding to investigate human traffickers smuggling children – you don’t want included?

When you stand on the floor and you speak of a crisis and you speak of caring for children, why would you not fund to make sure people aren’t trafficking them? When you spoke that there was a crisis on the border, why would you not fund the men and women who work for our government? Why would you try to deny them overtime?

McCarthy highlighted the Democrats’ denial of overtime payments to ICE officers. However, that denial was likely inserted by Democrats so they can trade the overtime payments to the GOP in exchange for GOP submitting to Democrats’ pro-migration measures, such as the curb on information sharing.

The White House’s veto threat focuses on the Democratic efforts to block any anti-migration projects. According to the White House document:

The Administration is disappointed that neither the House nor Senate bills include necessary funding for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) detention. By opposing detention beds—where illegal migrants are placed pending their removal—Democrat lawmakers are declaring their belief that illegal immigrants, including those who skip court hearings or commit additional crimes, should be allowed to remain in our country indefinitely. The ideological aversion to our Nation’s interior immigration enforcement agency must stop. We cannot have a sovereign nation if we continue to demean and underfund our enforcement agencies and personnel. In addition, H.R. 3401 declines to provide important funding for the equipment and courtroom space necessary to support the execution of the President’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP) to adjudicate illegal immigrant hearings, and fails to provide any funding for Department of Defense assistance to the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) border enforcement efforts.

H.R. 3401 also contains a number of problematic policy provisions that would hinder the Administration’s efforts to enforce our immigration laws and protect children. Among other troublesome provisions that undermine child welfare, the bill would block the Administration from modifying certain Health and Human Services (HHS) directives in order to prevent children from being placed in danger in the future. Further undermining child welfare, the bill includes onerous language impeding the ability of HHS to develop additional UAC influx capacity, which risks requiring children to remain in DHS custody for longer periods of time. H.R. 3401 would also attempt to undermine MPP by requiring the provision of services to individuals in the program who are no longer in the United States, and by prohibiting its use altogether for those families processed under a new and untested migrant processing center pilot program established by the bill. Finally, the bill would seek to block the Administration’s current policy of foreign aid to Northern Triangle countries, a necessary tool for ensuring enhanced control of migration from those countries.

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