Democrats Fight to Preserve the ‘UAC’ Migrant Pipeline

In this Thursday, March 14, 2019, photo, a Border Patrol agent talks with a group suspected of having entered the U.S. illegally near McAllen, Texas. While many adults crossing the border on their own in South Texas try to flee agents, most migrant parents and children wait to surrender so …
AP Photo/Eric Gay

Democrats are fighting to keep open the “Unaccompanied Alien Child” (UAC) pipeline that is used by illegal immigrant parents to bring their children into the United States.

President Donald Trump and his deputies have been working to close the UAC pipeline during the coronavirus epidemic, and are sending some of the UACs back to their home countries instead of letting them enter the country.

Since 2011, the pipeline has been used to deliver more than 350,000 youths and children to their illegal immigrant parents in the United States. This pipeline process sends many additional migrants into Americans’ blue collar workplaces, neighborhoods, and schools.

“We are concerned about recent reports that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is removing unaccompanied children to countries where they fear violence, in violation of their legal rights under the Trafficking Victim Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA),” a group of senior Democrats said in March 30 letter to Chad Wolf, the acting chief of the Department of Homeland Security.

The letter was signed by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif), Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), Sen. Richard Durbin (D-Ill.) and Rep. Zoe Lofgren (D.-Calif.). They are the top Democrats on the Senate and House judiciary committees and immigration subcommittees.

The Democrats continued:

Reports that DHS is not following the TVPRA are deeply troubling. We have an obligation to ensure the health and safety of these children. Children do not have to be put in harm’s way to protect us from the coronavirus pandemic. DHS has the ability and capacity to protect both these children and the public. We request that DHS stop this practice immediately.

In the 2019 and 202o budget battles, Democrats blocked funding for a DHS program that sought to close the pipeline by identifying and deporting the parents of the UACs.

The new letter is likely the opening shot for a push by Democrats to defund the DHS anti-UAC policy actions. The fight will be part of the 2021 spending fights, and GOP leaders will likely agree to curbs on DHS in exchange for Democrats’ agreement with the GOP’s business priorities.

If the UAC pipeline is closed, many Central American migrants will return to their home countries. That return would nudge up blue collar wages – but would also reduce income in the white-collar immigration sector.

President Barack Obama repeatedly suggested the young UAC migrants were fleeing crime and terror.

But the vast majority of UACs seeking to join their illegal immigrant parents in the United States. They are accompanied to the border agencies by coyotes who are hired by the illegal immigrant parents using funds they earn in U.S. jobs.

Under the 2008 TVPRA law, the ‘UACs’ are automatically relayed to the Department of Health and Human Services. They are then relayed by HHS to people who volunteer to “sponsor” the UACs before their eventual court appearances.

The vast majority of sponsors are the Central American illegal immigrant parents who paid the coyotes to bring the children to the border. The current inflow of UACs is likely funded by many of the migrants who entered in 2019.

Officials and GOP legislators have freely admitted that they know most of the would-be sponsors are the Central American illegal immigrant parents.








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