The Department of Homeland Security treats the expanded “Flores” decree like God’s word, releasing any illegal alien who crosses the border with a child, even if border personnel can’t confirm identities, criminal records, or whether they are threats to Americans or to the children they’re using as golden tickets.
Senator James Lankford, R-Okla., announced at yesterday’s Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee hearing that border agents told him, on his recent trip to the border, that they found in two separate incidents that an alleged murderer and a convicted pedophile had each been released with a kid as part of the expanded Flores catch-and-release deadline of 20 days.
In one case, “they released an adult with a child and then found out two weeks later that that adult had a murder warrant in their home country, and they just released him into the country, and they could do nothing about it.” In another case, “they had released an adult traveling with a child and then found out after they were released when they got their criminal records in from home country that, that was a convicted pedophile from that country now traveling with a child somewhere in our country, and because we couldn’t detain them for longer than 20 days and we couldn’t get those criminal records, they’re released in the country, and they’re traveling with a child.”
When Lankford asked acting Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Mark Morgan whether border personnel were able to verify criminal status within the arbitrary 20-day deadline by the courts, he answered, “Not efficiently.”
The reality is that these people are coming straight out of rural Central America and countries with extremely unreliable data. All they have to do is give a name and they are home free, thanks to a court order that defies the 1996 immigration law passed unanimously by the Senate stating that these people “shall be detained.”
Thus, the threat of those coming in as “runners” and “gotaways” while Border Patrol is strategically tied down by the cartels with the family units is obvious. All of those with massive criminal records who were previously deported now have a freer lane than ever to come right back in.
But it’s even more disquieting that would-be criminal migrants are so emboldened by the notion that we will give amnesty to anyone with a kid that a number of those coming with family units are criminals. Every day, I see stories from CBP on how they caught criminals, particularly those convicted of child sex crimes, coming in openly with groups surrendering to agents.
Just yesterday, for example, Border Patrol arrested a previously deported Guatemalan who had been “convicted of Lewd or Lascivious Conduct and Failure to register as a Sex Offender on July 31, 2015, in Jacksonville, Florida.” According to Border Patrol in Tucson, the alien convict, 52-year-old Pedro Nolasco-Garcia, was traveling “with” a group of 16 women and children who surrendered to agents.
I asked a border agent why someone would be so dumb as to come in knowing that CBP will discover his record. He told me that he is forced to release criminals or people whose status could not be verified all the time because of the rush to release anyone who comes with a child. “The entire focus is on treatment of the children, to the detriment of not only America’s security, but these children as well,” said the agent, who patrols the hardest-hit areas of the Rio Grande Valley. The agent in Texas, who is on an evidence collection team and administers fingerprints, told CR that they are catching many adult males who come with one child (not an entire family fleeing persecution) who think that despite their criminal record, they will benefit from catch-and-release.
“And they are not entirely wrong,” said the veteran agent, who must remain anonymous because he is not authorized to speak to the media.
“In every single group, almost without fail, there is someone with a criminal record, typically males with single kids,” the agent said. “There is a wide misconception about the majority of these people being females. They are overwhelmingly male. While we try to prioritize referrals for prosecution based on criminal history, we only have so many computers we can utilize and so many staff members.”
When I asked him if that means there are those with confirmed criminal records, even with convictions in the U.S., who have been released, he said, “Absolutely. … They are given a notice to appear in court like anyone else.”
According to Department of Homeland Security investigators, in a letter from DHS to a member of the House Oversight Committee obtained by CR, there were enough criminal convictions (just from their previous time in the U.S.) among the January 2019 caravan members to account for roughly one quarter of the entire group! Homeland Security Investigations identified a total of 860 people with U.S. criminal convictions among the 3,345 people who left Honduras, including “22 individuals convicted of assault or aggravated assault with a deadly weapon, 27 individuals convicted of sexual offenses.” They also identified 47 gang members.
“So many of those coming here now have no records in the NCIC and are from countries that don’t share information with us,” said the agent I spoke to. “We literally have no idea who they are before we release them. They just give us a random name and birthdate and we have no way of verifying it.”
Why is the federal government giving foreign nationals a right to invade with such a dangerous scam of using children when the law actually says the opposite? Nothing in the Constitution can ever compel such carnage, but this policy emanated from a single California judge expanding the original settlement, which a Texas judge agreed doesn’t apply to cartel smuggling. And consider that 97.7 percent of family units are not even coming through California. Most are entering in Texas!
Also, consider the fact that well over 208,000 aliens have been released since Dec. 21, and we have no idea who they are. Thankfully, Border Patrol catches murderers, sex offenders, and gang members every day. But if those are the fish that are caught, one can imagine how many are in that pond and how few we catch when the net is so small and thin.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.