DHS Prepares Legal Welcome for Flood of Migrant Child Workers

File - In this May 10, 2011 file photo, field workers pick onion bulbs on a Vidalia onion farm in Lyons, Ga. Georgia and Alabama have approved laws that have tough enforcement provisions that farmers say are scaring migrant workers away from the states. (AP Photo/David Goldman, File)
David Goldman/AP Photo

Coyotes will deliver perhaps 13,000 foreign children and job-seeking teenagers to the U.S. border in May, according to a leaked report to Axios.com.

But the leak is intended to be a “self-fulfilling prophecy,” said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.

President Joe Biden’s officials, she said, are leaking the warnings even as they strip President Donald Trump’s border protection because they want to create “a perpetual crisis that will normalize the flow of large numbers of people.”

“Having a huge number of people who are showing up at the southern border is one of the justifications that they will put forward for letting them in,” she added.

The policy of “extraction migration” from Central America is harming Americans’ communities and migrant-sending countries while also enriching the trafficking networks that deliver the adult and child migrants into the U.S. consumer economy, she said.

Biden’s progressive deputies “are oblivious to the reality that their pet policies are enriching criminal smuggling organizations, dislocating communities in these countries, and putting children at risk,” she said.

Axios.com reported February 26:

A Customs and Border Protection staffer [from the department of Homeland Security, DHS] told top administration officials Thursday the agency is projecting a peak of 13,000 unaccompanied [sic] children crossing the border in May, sources directly familiar with the discussion told Axios.

“CBP chief of staff Lise Clavel provided the border-crossing projection.” Clavel is a former campaign staffer for Beto O’Rourke and Mike Bloomberg, and a former manager at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation.

The predicted 13,000 young migrants are in addition to the large inflows of single adult migrants and the “family unit” migrants.

The 13,000 young migrants are legally described as “Unaccompanied Alien Children,” even though they are accompanied by paid coyotes from their homes to the border, and even though many are older teenagers seeking U.S. jobs.

Biden’s welcome is encouraging coyotes to bring more of the “UACs” to the border. In the first four months of 2020, 12,000 UACs were delivered by coyotes. The first four months of 2021 showed a 64 percent rise to almost 20,000 deliveries.

During the Thursday meeting, officials talked about reopening Trump-era facilities to help process the migrants legally into the United States, said the Axios report.

Biden’s progressive officials are willing to reopen Trump-era facilities — despite TV-magnified theatrical jeers from migration advocates and from right-of-center news outlets — that Biden is reviving Trump’s “kid in cage” policies. But Biden is using the processing facilities to provide the migrants with residency documents, work permits, and legal paperwork so they can win permanent residency to compete for jobs, homes, and resources needed by Americans.

For example, Reuters reported February 25:

On Monday, the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) reopened an emergency shelter in Texas and is also considering reopening a controversial facility in Florida, a sign of the scramble to find housing for the children. Shelter capacity was greatly reduced due to coronavirus social distancing, and existing facilities are close to full.

HHS, which oversees shelters for migrant children, is in the process of switching to a new database that could cut hours or days from the time it takes to perform background checks for sponsors, said a department official who requested anonymity to discuss internal operations.

The report by Axios noted “there was no discussion [at the Thursday meeting] of U.S.-based policies or practices that would work to deter migrants, such as reinstating the use of an emergency public health order to quickly deport migrant kids.”

The projected 13,000 migrants in May are usually described as “kids” by pro-migration media outlets, but most are job-seeking teenagers, said Vaughan:

There a couple of different things we know about this population. One is that they often are the children of adults who are already living in the country illegally who pays a smuggler to bring their kids here, especially when they are old enough to also work.

Most of them are teens, aged 17 or 18, Some are older and are pretending to be 17.

In addition, they are kids who have been sent by their families back in Central America to join family or friends who are already here, to get settled in the hope that the parents and the rest of the family team come join them later, or at least, that this teenager — who’s expected to help support the family — will be able to send back earnings.

“Honestly, I think almost everyone in the system knows that most of the [migrant] teens are coming to work and send money back home,” Maria Woltjen, executive director and founder of the Young Center for Immigrant Children’s Rights, told a reporter for ProPublica. “They want to help their parents,” she told ProPublica for a November 2020 article:

Around Urbana-Champaign, the home of the University of Illinois, school district officials say children and adolescents lay shingles, wash dishes and paint off-campus university apartments. In New Bedford, Massachusetts, an indigenous Guatemalan labor leader has heard complaints from adult workers in the fish-packing industry who say they’re losing their jobs to 14-year-olds. In Ohio, teenagers work in dangerous chicken plants.

Though most of the teens interviewed for this story are now 18, they agreed to speak on the condition that they not be fully identified and that their employers not be named because they feared losing their jobs, harming their immigration cases or facing criminal penalties.

Some began to work when they were just 13 or 14, packing the candy you find by the supermarket register, cutting the slabs of raw meat that end up in your freezer and baking, in industrial ovens, the pastries you eat with your coffee. Garcia, who is 18 now, was 15 when he got his first job at an automotive parts factory.

“Teachers will tell you the same thing,” Vaughan said. “Most of the boys show up in October when the landscaping season is over, and they stay in school until about April, and then they drop out again to go back to work in the landscaping companies.”

The UAC pipeline is safe for the teenagers once the coyotes complete the UAC hand-off to Biden’s border agencies. Before the hand-off, the journey can be very deadly.

On January 30, the Los Angeles Times reported the death of roughly 13 teenagers who entered the Hunger Games obstacle course, including 15-year-old Robelson Isidro. Gunmen reportedly killed the victims, and their bodies left in a burned-out pickup truck:

The [Guatemalan] community has a long history of sending migrants to the United States, and he had uncles who lived there. They had indoor kitchens. They didn’t have to cook outside under a tarp.

“He was ashamed,” his mother said in a phone interview. She said he told her: “I’m going to fight to make my dreams come true. I have to get my siblings ahead in life. I’m going to get them out of poverty.”

His uncles [in the United States had] wired him money to make the journey north.

“The administration is trying to justify its lenient border policies as humanitarianism,” said Vaughan. “But they are facilitating a trade of children who are being trafficked here openly  … nothing could be more immoral.”

“The media are bailing them out,” Vaughan added.  “When [White House spokeswoman] Jen Psaki gets flustered about having to defend these policies, commentators will jump in and say, ‘Oh, but you’re reuniting families.'”

“It’s not going to stop the flow; it’s just going to launder it … Every policy they adopt is actually incentivizing more people to come,” Vaughn said.

For years, a wide variety of pollsters have shown deep and broad opposition to labor migration and the inflow of temporary contract workers into jobs sought by young U.S. graduates.

The multiracialcross-sexnon-racistclass-basedintra-Democratic, and solidarity-themed opposition to labor migration coexists with generally favorable personal feelings toward legal immigrants and toward immigration in theory — despite the media magnification of many skewed polls and articles that still push the 1950’s corporate “Nation of Immigrants” claim.

The deep public opposition is built on the widespread recognition that migration moves money from employees to employers, from families to investors, from young to old, from children to their parents, from homebuyers to real estate investors, and from the central states to the coastal states.

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