Coyotes Use Federal Agencies to Smuggle ‘Unaccompanied’ Children to Parents in U.S.

John Moore/Getty Images
File photo: John Moore/Getty Images

The flood of “Unaccompanied Alien Children” may hit 88,000 this year, according to Missouri Sen. Roy Blunt.

Officials are “anticipating as many as 88,000 will come to the border by themselves by the end of September,” Blunt told other senators during a June 19 markup at the Senate Appropriations Committee. Thirty percent of the children are aged 12 or below, while the majority of 70 percent are teenagers 13 and above, he said. 

The 2019 UAC inflow is a massive increase over prior years. Roughly 180,000 children and youths were brought into the U.S. via the UAC pipeline from 2013 to 2018. The 90,000 who are expected in 2019 would allow the total of 270,000-plus UAC children to fill half of all the school seats in the four large school districts in the Washington, D.C. region — at a colossal annual cost of roughly $3.5 billion to taxpayers plus much classroom dysfunction for American public-school kids.

The UAC inflow may rise again in 2020 — even if President Donald Trump manages to block the catch-and-release loopholes created by Congress and the courts — because many UACs are being imported from Central America by their recently arrived illegal-alien parents and relatives. 

“Unaccompanied minors: they’re coming here, sent probably by their parents,” GOP Sen. Lindsey Graham told Blunt and other senators at the markup. The parents know that “if you can get here as an unaccompanied minor under our laws, if you are from Central America, 98 percent stay,” he said.

The 2019 flow of almost 90,000 UACs is hidden in the bigger inflow of perhaps 900,000 economic migrants from Central America who use the asylum catch-and-release loopholes to get into the United States.

The UAC inflow of youths and children enters via a different loophole in a 2008 law which was passed to help “Unaccompanied Alien Children” escape severe trafficking by criminal gangs and labor traffickers, typically for prostitution and sweatshops. But coyotes, cartels, migrants, and immigration lawyers use those laws to help transport migrants’ foreign children from Central America to the migrants’ homes in Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and many other cities. 

The pipeline usually starts with the arrival of a single illegal migrant, male or female, with or without a child, in an American city. Often, the spouse travels separately through the asylum loopholes and quickly joins the first migrant in the city, usually while carrying a second child to help claim asylum.

The vast majority of these adult migrants take jobs at low wages to pay off their debt to their coyotes, each of whom is a subcontractor in the cartels’ $2 billion-a-year labor-trafficking business. Once the debts are partway paid to the cartels, the settled migrants must decide whether to keep sending money home or to import their other children or even relatives’ children.

Many parents rationally choose to smuggle their other children into the United States. The reasons include getting their children into American schools or getting their youths into U.S. jobs.  So the parents hire cartel-backed coyotes — often the same trusted smugglers who helped them get into the United States — to accompany their child or teenagers to the U.S. border. 

At the border, the smugglers relay the children and youth to U.S. border officers. For more than a decade, officials have classified the waves of children and youths who are carefully dropped off at the border as “Unaccompanied Alien Children” who are eligible for the legal benefits in the 2008 Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

That see-no-coyote policy requires border officers to relay the supposedly-unaccompanied youths to American escorts hired by the Department of Health and Human Services. The escorts then accompany the Unaccompanied Alien Children to HHS shelters where they are constantly accompanied by HHS carers and medical aides.

The HHS shelters are crowded with UAC children and youths, so the government allows “sponsors”  to host and accompany the Unaccompanied Alien Children until a judge can hear their claims for asylum.

Federal agencies fully know the sponsor is usually the child’s parent — or a close relative who is living in shared accommodation with the illegal-immigrant parents. In 2017, for example, 46 percent of sponsors were the parents or legal guardians of UACs, according to HHS data provided to Breitbart News. An additional 38 percent were siblings, aunts, uncles, or grandparents, the HHS data showed. 

So agencies know that this HHS handoff of the “unaccompanied” youth to the sponsor effectively completes the smuggling contract with the cartel-backed coyotes.

Media reports almost universally ignore the semi-hidden role of the parents who pay smugglers to carefully deliver their “unaccompanied” children to the border agencies. A reporter for the Washington Post, for example, visited a reception center in McAllen, Texas, and wrote June 12:

Diapers, juice boxes and cookies were stockpiled throughout the facility, and in one area of the warehouse, outside the chain-link fence, a uniformed Coast Guard officer and a team of child care contractors knelt on a carpet with toddlers who had arrived lacking parents. “Despicable Me” was playing in Spanish on a television.

Democrats, however, recognize the reality of the government-run smuggling process and are working hard to ensure its continued operation. For example, Democrats are trying to prevent the deportation of the parents who ask to sponsor children at HHS shelters.

Democrats launched this protection effort after ICE successfully used HHS data to identify and deport some of the illegal-immigrant parents in 2018. The San Francisco Chronicle reported the deportations in December 2018:

The Trump administration has arrested 170 undocumented immigrants who came forward to try to take migrant children out of government custody, federal officials said Monday.

“It’s outrageous,” Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., said in reaction to the news. “I don’t know if this is intended or unintended, but a natural consequence of this is that these children will have nowhere to go.”

Roughly 80 percent of undocumented immigrant children’s sponsors are in the U.S. illegally, according to ICE. The Obama administration did not consider a person’s immigrant status as a factor in placing children in homes.

“People quit applying to be sponsors because their information was being delivered to ICE,” Oregon Sen. Jeff Merkley said during the Senate markup. “As long as a family knows their information is going to be given to ICE, in the Hispanic community, they don’t want to step forward as sponsors,” he said. 

The Democrats’ campaign to protect the UAC pipeline is almost unchallenged by Republicans. At the hearing, for example, Blunt repeatedly said the children arrived “by themselves.” GOP chairman Richard Shelby and other GOP senators remained mute as Democrats theatrically lashed Trump and other Republicans for merely trying to identify migrants — not deport them — by holding them for a few days in overcrowded detention centers. 

“At some point in time, we really have to have a conversation about why this [inflow] is occurring at record numbers,” said Montana Democrat Jon Tester. “Quite frankly, many of us on this side of the aisle could talk about a president who infuriates, inflames and divides, and quite frankly, I think that is a big part of the problem when he does his tweets and his statements.”

Only Graham spotlighted the reality of the government-funded UAC pipeline: “Unaccompanied minors: They’re coming here, sent probably by their parents,” he said. 

In March 2019, and again in the June 19 hearing, Shelby and GOP senators quietly accepted the Democrats’ amendment barring ICE from using sponsorship data to deport illegals.

GOP opposition to the Democrats’ protection of the UAC-pipeline is muted because it provides business — and public school employees — with a wave of new consumers, workers, and renters. The inflow is so huge that it effectively doubles the nation’s population growth. In May, for example, 144,000 adults and children added themselves to the U.S. labor market or school rolls, to the consumer economy, and the housing sector.

The UAC pipeline has been in operation since at least 2013. That December, Texas judge Andrew Hanen slammed Obama’s border agencies for working with the coyotes. The Daily Caller reported Hanen’s statement:

The smuggler, Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez, was arrested and the [client’s] child detained at a Texas border checkpoint when they were caught trying to use a birth certificate that belonged to Nava-Martinez’s daughter …

“Customs and Border Protection agents stopped the Defendant at the border inspection point. She was arrested, and the child was taken into custody. The DHS officials were notified that [the Virginis-based mother] Salmeron Santos instigated this illegal conduct,” the judge continued. “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.”

This was “the fourth case with the same factual situation this court has had in as many weeks,” Hanen wrote, adding:

The government is not only allowing [illegal migrants in the U.S.] to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so. … To put this in another context, the DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation/exportation. Legally, this situation is no different.

Immigration by the Numbers

Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.

But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including approximately one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.

The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.

This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.

Flooding the market with cheap, foreign white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts Americans’ K-12 schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the Heartland to the coastal citiesexplodes rents and housing costsshrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.




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