President Donald Trump’s deputies are shrinking federal cooperation with the smuggling networks which transport Central American children and youths to their illegal-immigrant parents in the United States.
The Trump policy narrows President Barack Obama’s policy of allowing illegal-immigrant parents in the United States to use the Department of Health and Human Services as a pick-up service for their smuggled “Unaccompanied Alien Children.” The smugglers are paid by the illegals to deliver the children and youths to U.S. border agencies, which then give them to the HHS agency for delivery to “sponsors,” most of whom are illegal-immigrant parents.
The HHS agency has handed off more than 180,000 children and youths since late 2013 to “sponsors.”
But HHS officials are now asking the “sponsors” to properly identify themselves. That identification process would ease deportation by Trump’s stepped-up enforcement measures, so it is deterring illegal-alien parents from picking up their children at the HHS centers.
The partial shutdown means that HHS care centers are now filling up with children and youths who are not being picked up by their illegal-immigrant parents. This growing HHS population of smuggled youths and children is forcing the department to open new shelter facilities at military bases — and will give progressives an opportunity to portray the federal border-control policy as inhumane even though smuggling process is initiated by illegal immigrants.
The HHS reform is part of the multi-step strategy that Trump and his deputies are using to stop the Central American migration which was triggered by Obama’s loose-border policies in 2010. Those policies include a migrant-friendly interpretation of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008.
The Obama policies allowed hundreds of thousands of Central American migrants to take jobs in the United States. Subsequently, many of those migrants hired smugglers to transport their children through Mexico to the federal border agencies. Once delivered to the border, the children were picked up by Obama’s HHS and handed off to “sponsors” — the illegal-immigrant parents — throughout the United States.
The Central American migration is continuing, despite Trump’s election. Since October 2017, roughly 90,000 Central American “family units,” and 45,000 UACs have walked into the United States this year to accept the offers of legal aid, courtroom loopholes and jobs offered by progressives and businesses.
The New York Times reported the child-smuggling policy change at HHS on Sept. 12:
new data shows that the placement process has slowed significantly. Monthly releases have plummeted by about two-thirds since last year.
The delays in vetting sponsors relate, in part, to changes the Trump administration has made in how the process works. In June, the authorities announced that potential sponsors and other adult members of their households would have to submit fingerprints, and that the data would be shared with immigration authorities.
Traditionally, most sponsors have been undocumented themselves, and therefore are wary of risking deportation by stepping forward to claim sponsorship of a child. Even those who are willing to become sponsors have had to wait months to be fingerprinted and otherwise reviewed.
The new reluctance to complete delivery of the cartel-transported youths and children is causing a backlog in the child-delivery system because the illegal-immigrants parents are leaving their children in HHS shelters, despite progressive complaints about separated families and detained children.
In 2014, 58 percent of sponsors were the parents or legal guardians of UACs, according to HHS data provided to Breitbart News. That number dropped to 46 percent in fiscal-year 2017, the data shows.
However, more of the UACs are being picked up by relatives living in the United States. In 2014, 28 percent of the UACs were picked up by siblings, aunts, uncles or grandparents, according to HHS. In 2017, that percentage jumped to 38 percent. Many of those sponsoring relatives may be living legally in the United States.
HHS did not provide matching data for fiscal 2018, which started on September 30, 2017, and ends on October 1, 2018.
The number of youths and children at HHS centers has risen to 12,800, just a little below the system’s capacity of 13,800.
HHS is responding by building large-scale shelters, according to the Washington Post:
HHS, the federal agency tasked with caring for migrant children and teenagers in U.S. custody, said it would more than triple the size of its camp at the Tornillo-Guadalupe Land Port of Entry from 1,200 beds to as many as 3,800 …
HHS officials have “worked round the clock to add beds or add shelters to avoid any backup” at the border,” Wolfe added. He said the agency has 12,800 minors in its custody, the highest number ever. Minors spend an average of 59 days in HHS custody, up from 51 days in 2017 …
To accommodate more migrant children and longer stays in U.S. custody, the Trump administration has asked the Pentagon to host additional camps and shelters on military bases, but [a HHS spokesman] said the government has not broken ground on any new facilities.
The policy shift is being resisted by Commander Jonathan White, who runs the child-migrant operation at the Department of Health and Human Services.
In August, he told a Senate hearing there would be a “humanitarian crisis” if officials end the policy of delivering young migrants to their illegal-alien relatives. The agencies would need “hundreds of thousands of beds over the next couple of years” to house the undelivered children and youths, he claimed.
The “great majority” of people who accept the children are illegals, and just “10 percent of reunifications go to sponsors who are either distant relatives or not relatives,” White told Senators at the hearing before the Senate’s homeland security subcommittee on investigations.
White’s statement shows “that the United States government is an essential part of the alien-smuggling process,” Mark Krikorian, director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told Breitbart News in August. “The smugglers hand off their charges to the federal government [at the border] so that Washington can finish the smuggling route” up to the relatives, he said.
White is a social worker who cares about the foreign children, not about the enforcement of U.S. immigration laws, said Krikorian. “Handing over an important part of immigration enforcement to social workers is not a good idea,” he said.
In 2013, a Texas judge spotlighted the government’s cooperation with the smuggling cartels, writing:
Customs and Border Protection agents stopped the [smuggler] Defendant at the border inspection point. She was arrested, and the [migrant] child was taken into custody. The DHS officials were notified that [the mother] Salmeron Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivered the child to her — thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. The DHS policy is a dangerous course of action.
More than half of the smuggled UACs are boys older than 13. The age data shows that “a very large part of this [migration] is really just about getting a job in the United States,” said Krikorian. Basically “15, 16-year-old kids are being sent to the D.C. area or to Los Angeles to get an illegal job and send the money home,” said Krikorian.
Border laws have so many loopholes that only 1.4 percent of the 94,000 “family unit” migrants who arrived during 2017 were sent home by July 2018, according to agency data provided to Breitbart News.
The department also released basic information about the status of 31,754 UACs who arrived in 2017:
In FY17, CBP apprehended 31,754 UACs from the Northern Triangle of Central America. Of those 31,753 illegal Central American alien minors, 98.2 percent remain in the country today (as of June 30, 2018).
Attorney General Jeff Sessions is revamping immigration courts to speed up the process of returning the UACs to their homelands.