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Kobach: The Caravan Is a Consequence of Rewarding Illegal Immigration

A Central American migrant traveling with a caravan to the U.S. rests upon arrival to Huixtla, Mexico, Monday, Oct. 22, 2018. Thousands of Central American migrants resumed an arduous trek toward the U.S. border Monday, with many bristling at suggestions there could be terrorists among them and saying the caravan …
AP Photo/Moises Castillo

Once again, a massive caravan of aliens is coming north to demand entry into the United States.  This one is even bigger than the last.  The number of migrants is over 7,000 and growing.

The open-borders Left and their talking heads in the media are falsely describing the caravan’s trek as a “humanitarian crisis.”  But that is nonsense. There is no war or drought in Central America that the migrants are fleeing.  They are simply coming to the United States en masse for economic reasons, hoping that their immense numbers swamp our immigration system or that they can otherwise find a way into the country.

The caravan is a perfect storm of problems that cause illegal immigration.  It illustrates the fecklessness of foreign governments like Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador that receive more than $500 million in foreign aid from the United States but can’t be bothered to lift a finger on America’s behalf when their own citizens threaten to invade our southern border.

It also illustrates the complete lack of respect for American sovereignty and American law by the illegal alien felons who have been deported multiple times and are now joining the ranks of the caravan.  For example, six-time deportee Anthony Fuentes is hoping to make his seventh entry into the United States with the caravan.

The caravan also illustrates the rampant abuse of our asylum laws, as I wrote with respect to the previous alien caravan in the Spring of 2018.  When an otherwise-illegal alien comes to the United States, he can claim political asylum when he gets here.  To obtain asylum, an alien must demonstrate a “well-founded fear of persecution” in his country of origin, based on membership in a particular social, religious, political or racial group. 

However, it appears that many aliens in the caravan will be claiming asylum simply based on the fact that they lived in poverty or in crime-ridden areas.  But those are not valid bases for seeking asylum.  Compounding the problem is the fact that the majority of asylum claimants are allowed to roam the United States for years while their asylum claims are being adjudicated.  When so many aliens claim asylum at once, it becomes impossible to process all of the claims quickly or to detain them all in the meantime.  The asylum applicants are also able to obtain employment authorization while their claims are pending.  Others disappear into the fabric of the country and fail to show up for their asylum hearings.  Indeed it appears that many of the aliens in the first alien caravan of 2018 are doing exactly that.

It is a stark contrast to the typical illegal immigration we have seen for decades – namely small groups of aliens sneaking across the border in the dead of night.  Now we have thousands of aliens marching to our southern border, in full daylight with the media in tow, demanding that they be admitted to the United States.  Meanwhile the American Left cheers them on.

But we shouldn’t be surprised.  For years, our country has rewarded illegal immigration with a permissive asylum system, lax interior enforcement, hundreds of sanctuary cities and counties, and generous welfare benefits in many states (including my own state of Kansas).  In total, the federal and state governments are giving illegal aliens more than $134 billion in taxpayer-provided benefits per year.  And the open-borders Left wants even more.

Fortunately we have a President who understands the need to stand firm and say no.  We also need state governors to stand with him and deny the welfare benefits that act as a magnet for illegal immigration.

If we want to end illegal immigration, we’ve got to stop rewarding illegal immigration.

Kris W. Kobach is the elected Secretary of State of Kansas.  An expert in immigration law and policy, he coauthored the Arizona SB-1070 immigration law and represented in federal court the 10 ICE agents who sued to stop Obama’s 2012 DACA executive amnesty.  He is currently a candidate for governor in Kansas.  His website is kriskobach.com.

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