Donald Trump Shuts Huge Migrant Pipeline Run by Coyotes, Federal Agencies

Leaked images show overcrowded cells used to warehouse Unaccompanied Alien Children in June 2014. (Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection)
Image: U.S. Customs and Border Protection

President Donald Trump and his deputies have shut down the coyote-run smuggling pipeline that has used federal agencies to deliver almost 500,000 youths and children to their illegal-alien parents living in northern cities.

The success in closing the 12-year-old “Unaccompanied Alien Child”‘ pipeline was admitted by the New York Times:

Hundreds of migrant children and teenagers have been swiftly deported by American authorities amid the coronavirus pandemic without the opportunity to speak to a social worker or plea for asylum from the violence in their home countries — a reversal of years of established practice for dealing with young foreigners who arrive in the United States.

The deportations represent an extraordinary shift in policy that has been unfolding in recent weeks on the southwestern border, under which safeguards that have for decades been granted to migrant children by both Democratic and Republican administrations appear to have been abandoned.

The shutdown is allowed by the combination of China’s coronavirus and by Congress’s Title 42 law. The Title 42 law allows border agents to block any migrants coming across the border at the request of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and it trumps the 2008 law that created the coyote/agency pipeline.

On May 20, Chad Wolf, chief of the Department of Homeland Security, said that CDC had ordered the Title 42 barrier to continue indefinitly, “until it is determined that the serious danger from #COVID19 has ceased.”

The Associated Press showed May 14 how Trump’s 2020 changes surprised a Honduran mother in Mexico who had watched the UAC pipeline work for years:

When she lost an initial [aslum legal] decision, she decided [the 10-year-old boy] would be better off temporarily with her brother in the United States. She watched him swim across the Rio Grande.

The woman expected he would be treated the same as before, when such children were picked up by the U.S. Border Patrol and taken to Department of Health and Human Services facilities for eventual placement with a sponsor, usually a relative.

But the mother heard nothing until six days later, when her family received a call from a shelter in Honduras. “They had thrown him out to Honduras,” she said. “We didn’t know anything.”

The New York Times added a comment from the “shocked” uncle in Houston:

“I’m not going to tell you that we were going to shower him with riches,” Mr. Rodríguez said. “We’re poor, but we were going to fight to support him. We were going to welcome him like he deserved.”

The two articles did not mention the child’s father. In all likelihood, he may have traveled illegally to his brother in Houston, while fully expecting the federal agencies to deliver his child to Houston.

Democrats, however, are fighting to reopen the UAC pipeline’s delivery of migrant youths and children to the  illegal-immigrant parents and relatives:

A 2008 law created the UAC pipeline. The Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) law directed officials in the border agencies and the Department of Health and Human Services to safeguard and help trafficked children — such as youth prostitutes — until they could find sponsors to live and recover in the United States.

The U.S. generosity was quickly exploited by smugglers, who used the 2008  TVPRA law to safely deliver the children of illegal migrants into the United States. The illegal-migrant parents were happy to use the joint coyote-agency pipeline because it was a safe, cheap, and reliable way to reunite their families and transfer their kids into Americans’  K-12 schools.

President Barack Obama protected the UAC pipeline, and portrayed the smuggler-delivered children as “unaccompanied,” even as his agency officials were relaying the children from the cartel-backed coyotes to their illegal-alien parents throughout the United States. “The influx of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) across the southwest border of the United States has resulted in an urgent humanitarian situation requiring a unified and coordinated Federal response,” Obama declared in June 2014.

From 2007 to 2011, roughly 45,000 non-Mexicans were caught at the border each year. But the migration spiked in 2012 as the coyotes spread the news that Obama’s border agencies were turning a blind eye to migrants from Central America. By 2013, the migration inflow had reached 140,000 — and that inflow of working adults created a huge population of Latin American illegals who had the money and the desire to bring their abandoned children north via the UAC pipeline.

The UAC pipeline grew from roughly 8,000 in 2008, to 20,000 in 2009, 30,000 un 2012, 69,000 in 2014, 41,000 in 2017, and peak of 76,000 in 2019.

All told, the pipeline imported roughly 478,000 migrant youths and children between 2008 and 2019. Few were sent home, and most were teenagers, so boosting the current population of illegal workers seeking jobs in the coronavirus crash.

The pipeline was a boon for many Central Americans because it provided a means to move families out of Central American poverty into peaceful prosperity throughout the United States.

But those young migrants and their parents spiked rental prices across blue-collar America. Migrant parents felt less pressure to go home and their eagerness to work allowed employers to cut wage rates at many blue-collar jobs. Their children crowded into the schools used by the children of blue-collar Americans, forcing educators to divert time and money into English lessons.

Some of the migrant youths joined MS-13 and murdered other youths, but the establishment media sympathized with each new wave of migrant youths. But most quietly left the schools and blended into the blue-collar labor markets that are so disdained by the college-bound children of pro-migration progressives, journalists, and immigration lawyers.

The massive exit from Central America has also destabilized those countries, partly by reducing the labor force and slowing international investment.

Many legislators and experts in Washington quietly understood that the 2008 law allowed the coyotes to subcontract their child-delivery contracts to federal agencies. But Republican legislators also knew that companies wanted the illegal workers and the extra customers. In contrast, Democratic legislators recognized the pipeline was helping grow the population of illegals who would vote Democrat after getting citizenship.

The 2008 law made “the U.S. government a de facto co-conspirator with the smuggling organizations,” said a 2019 report by the Center or Immigration Studies.

Some of Trump’s deputies stated the obvious. Ken Cuccinelli told the Texas Public Policy Foundation on August 22:

The federal government has been the final link in the human trafficking effort up to this point. People put children in this pipeline with a certain degree of confidence — they’re obviously willing to risk their children –– that they will end up with the parents in the end. We are helping them pull this off.”

Along the way, the 2014 rush of “unaccompanied children” sank Obama’s polling numbers and helped kill his “Gang of Eight” amnesty. It also set the stage for a New York TV personality to begin planning his successful run for the presidency.

The Title 42 rule is a capstone in a series of hard-nosed decisions by Trump, which largely blocked the migration of Central American migrants into tough, blue-collar jobs throughout the United States.

For example, Trump threatened to shut down trade with Mexico until the government allowed the U.S. to return migrants to Mexico until their court date. This policy prevents migrants from getting the jobs they need to pay their smugglers and to fund the travel of their wives and children up to the border.

Trump changed courtroom rules and asylum rules, so barring migrants from getting asylum by claiming threats from criminal gangs or abusive husbands.

Trump’s border wall blocks the migration of many young men, so minimizing the demand for children to be smuggled via the UAC pipeline.

But Trump’s deputies have still not managed to close two remaining gaps.

Trump’s agencies and foreign countries are blocking and deporting many of the “extra-continentals” migrants from African and Asia. The inflow continues partly because the illegal migrants can hide among the legally admitted populations of Chinese, Indian, and Africans, but also because China and other countries block the repatriation of their migrants.

Also, Trump and his deputies have yet to reduce the large populations of visa workers from China and India. The population of roughly 1.3 million white-collar workers includes many H-1Bs, as well as a large population of migrants with B-1 visas who arrive legally and then work illegally. Business groups are fighting strongly to preserve this inflow because the extra workers reduce salaries for American graduates and also allow U.S. executives to sideline U.S. professionals.

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