Trump’s Border Policy Seeks to Curb Trafficking of Children and Youths

Border Patrol agents apprehend migrants near Rincon Village in South Texas. (File Photo: John Moore/Getty Images)
John Moore/Getty Images, file

President Donald Trump’s new border rules include a clause that could sharply curb the cartels’ trafficking of children and youths into the United States.

Since 2016, cartel-affiliated coyotes have used the nation’s lax asylum laws to deliver more than 110,000 children and youths from Central America to the United States. The government-aided business has been hidden by media and by Democrats who portray the expensively smuggled young migrants as “Unaccompanied Alien Children.”

President Donald Trump’s new border policy seeks to shrink this organized migration by offering a narrow form of asylum to the transported children and youth — as well as adults — who illegally cross the border.

The narrow form of asylum, dubbed “Withholding of Removal” could block the delivery of the children and youths to potential employers, their illegal alien parents, or to other parties. This policy could prevent the cartels’ coyotes from getting paid and shrink the UAC division of the cartels’ trafficking business.

The new UAC policy is revealed in a November 9 “Procedural Guidance” document to border officers, prepared by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It says border-crossing UACs will “be barred from asylum eligibility”:

Unaccompanied alien children (UACs) are not subject to credible fear or reasonable fear screening. 8 U.S.C. § 1232(a)(5)(D). The IFR, by its terms, does not change that. However, the Presidential Proclamation Addressing Mass Migration Through the Southern Border of the United States issued on November 9, 2018 renders UACs who cross the international boundary between the United States and Mexico outside of a port of entry and who do not properly present themselves for inspection would be subject to a suspension of entry. Therefore, while such UACs will continue to be processed in accordance with 6 U.S.C. § 279 and 8 U.S.C. § 1232, they would per the terms of this proclamation and the IFR be barred from asylum eligibility.

The policy does not change procedures for UACs who are dropped off at official “ports of entry.”

But Trump’s deputies have taken other steps to curb the smuggling of UACs. For example, officials are now conducting checks on the immigration status of U.S. residents who ask the Department of Health and Human Services to let them “sponsor” the child or youth in their own homes. Those checks have already begun to deter illegal-migrant parents and labor-brokers from paying the cartels to transport their children or workers to the United States.

The new Trump curb on UAC trafficking is being protested by immigration lawyers, including lawyers who complete the business process by helping cartel-smuggled UACs win asylum in the courts:

The ACLU and several other pro-immigration groups are asking a judge to block Trump’s border policy.

A White House statement outlined the UAC numbers:

  • More than 110,000 UACs have been released into the interior of the United States since the beginning of FY 2016, according to the Department of Health and Human Services.
  • The number of UACs at ports of entry increased by 636 percent from April 2017 to April 2018.
  • Border Patrol apprehensions of UACs were 331 percent higher for April 2018 than April 2017.
  • Only 3.4 percent of UACs encountered at the border in FY 2014 from countries other than Mexico had been removed or returned as of FY 2017.
  • UAC cases pending in immigration courts now total 78,000, up from less than 3,500 in FY 2009.
  • Approximately 90 percent of removal orders obtained against UACs each year result from one’s failure to appear at a hearing.
    • Removal orders issued against UACs based on a failure to appear at an immigration hearing have risen over 1000 percent since FY 2009.
  • Gangs, such as MS-13, have used the influx of UACs for recruiting opportunities.
    • More than one-third of the 274 MS-13 members and affiliates arrested in the Federal, State, and local led “Operation Matador” entered the country as UACs.

In September 2018, the Department of Justice announced a guilty plea by a labor broker who helped to smuggle “unaccompanied” minors into the U.S. labor market. The U.S. employer paid $6 million to the labor-broker, the DOJ reported:

Pablo Duran Ramirez, 50, pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Cleveland, Ohio, to encouraging the illegal entry of Guatemalan nationals, including unaccompanied minors, into the United States for financial gain … Duran Ramirez is the fourth defendant to plead guilty in connection with a labor trafficking scheme that forced Guatemalan minors to work at egg farms in central Ohio.

According to the defendant’s plea agreement and admissions in court, the defendant, through his company, Haba Corporate Services, contracted to provide labor to Trillium Farms, knowing that the workers were unlawfully present in the United States. He further admitted to knowing that some of the workers were unaccompanied minors who had been coerced or threatened to enter the United States and then housed in an isolated trailer park in Marion, Ohio. In 2013 and 2014, Trillim Farms paid the defendant’s company approximately $6 million for its labor services.

The U.S. immigration courts are so backlogged with asylum claims that released asylum-seeking migrants can get legal work-permits for two years while they wait for their court hearing.

The move-countermove battle between migrants, the cartels, Trump’s deputies, voters, business groups, and progressive groups is taking place along the border, in the agencies, the courts, Congress, and the ballot box. For example, Trump’s deputies at Department of Justice recently blocked a demand in a California court by progressives that they get taxpayers funding to flood the U.S. labor market with cheap migrant workers:

Amid Trump’s tighter policies, more migrants who are being deported are choosing to split their families so that their children can stay in the United States with relatives.

Washington’s economic policy of using migration to boost economic growth shifts wealth from young people towards older people by flooding the market with cheap white-collar and blue-collar foreign labor. That flood of outside labor spikes profits and Wall Street values by cutting salaries for manual and skilled labor offered by blue-collar and white-collar employees.

The policy also drives up real estate prices, widens wealth-gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, hurts kids’ schools and college education, pushes Americans away from high-tech careers, and sidelines at least five million marginalized Americans and their families, including many who are now struggling with opioid addictions.

Immigration also pulls investment and wealth away from heartland states because coastal investors can more easily hire and supervise the large immigrant populations living in the coastal states.


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