We have two choices when it comes to border security and interior enforcement. We can continue telegraphing the message that when you come here with children you are home free. This will continue fueling the drug crisis, growing MS-13, enriching the drug cartels, inducing sex trafficking and terrible crimes at the border, encouraging illegals to kidnap children to gain admission, and causing death and mayhem on both sides of the border. Or we could finally deter this behavior by announcing an end to any immigration requests not processed in a controlled environment through our embassy. If you are concerned about “separating children” and don’t support the latter path, then you need to seriously examine your values and priorities.
The entirety of the epidemic-level increase in both drugs and MS-13 began around 2014-2015 with the rise of UACs and the collapse of interior enforcement against criminal alien drug trafficking networks operating in our major cities. That was all precipitated by the rise of the “dreamer” political movement incentivizing people to come here as children or to bring children here to gain admission through catch-and-release.
Here are the facts:
DACA created the surge of Central American teens
From the time DACA was announced, in 2012, through 2014, the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended from El Salvador, Guatamala, and Honduras increased 490 percent, 444 percent, and 610 percent respectively. The El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC) drafted a memo in 2014 asserting that 95 percent of the border-crossers interviewed cited the promise of amnesty as the primary factor behind their migration, not violence back home.
The Miami Herald reported at the height of the surge that “children are also being sent by families who believe they could qualify for immigration reform—if Congress ever acts on it—or for President Barack Obama’s 2012 Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program known as DACA.”
On June 13, 2014, the Washington Post, which now recognizes the problems with UACs but still obsessively supports DACA, admitted that the surge of tens of thousands of Central Americans was “driven in large part by the perception they will be allowed to stay under Obama administration’s immigration policies.”
On June 4, 2014, the New York Times reported that the “shift in the way the United State treats [illegal alien] minors” aka amnesty and catch-and-release, “prompted” and “inspired” parents to either “hire so-called coyotes … to bring them north” or to “make the trip with toddlers in tow, something rarely seen before in this region.”
Thus, it is incontrovertibly clear that amnesty and refugee policies for those coming with children are what incentivized the chain reaction of smuggling that empowers drug cartels and leads to all the social ills for the migrants, not just Americans who have to deal with the consequences.
The surge of central American teens fueled the drug and gang crises
Once we had a surge in Central American teenagers, they served as drug mules and diversions and also paid the drug smugglers record funds to get in. This is why, according to the DEA, the poppy fields of the Mexican drug cartels tripled from 2013 to 2016. They are also the recruiting grounds of MS-13. The Washington Post recently wrote a story on how MS-13 is tearing apart schools in Maryland and hurting some of these very children people claim to care about.
But where did the problem come from?
According to the Post, “The gang’s growth has been fueled by a wave of 200,000 teens who traveled to the United States alone to escape poverty and gang violence in Central America … Nearly 5,000 of those unaccompanied minors have arrived in Prince George’s since 2012.” This parallels comments made Geraldine Hart, police commissioner of Suffolk County, New York, that the entirety of the MS-13 crisis is because of the UACs and that Long Island had it bad because it was “the largest recipient of UACs in the nation.”
Acting Assistant Attorney General John Cronan said that there are 2,000 MS-13 members in Long Island and they are “continually being refilled with new emissaries from El Salvador.”
Even Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein said that the MS-13 activity he’s seen in Maryland and the D.C. area “was fueled by illegal immigration and particularly by the challenge of unaccompanied minor children.”
We also know that up to 30 percent of unaccompanied minors (or purported minors) detained by immigration authorities had ties to gangs.
And again, where do the UACs come from and why did it start around 2014? They came from this very “compassionate” agenda of releasing “the children” that is still to this day promoted by the same organizations.
Sadly, not only does this hurt Americans, but it hurts the very innocent illegal alien children those pushing the policy claim to care about. Those are the ones getting raped in schools but are too scared to speak out against MS-13, according to the Washington Post. We do the children of the third world no favors but letting them in through an environment that ensures they will wind up in enclaves in America that are just as violent as Honduras.
The collapse of interior enforcement and rise of sanctuaries allowed drug distributors to flourish
And remember, where you have MS-13, you have a spike in drugs. All those tens of thousands of primarily young Americans dying from heroin, meth, and fentanyl? It’s all being distributed by the drug cartels and gangs of criminal aliens we let in and refuse to deport.
The same people shaming our border agents for defending our sovereignty against what should be an act of war are also shaming ICE for apprehending illegal aliens from state and local jails. But guess what? Even under Trump’s ramped-up enforcement, apprehensions of criminal aliens by ICE are less than half of what they were under Obama before he suspended enforcement after his first term.
Notice when the dip in apprehensions began and how they have still not recovered from Obama’s suspension of the rule of law. This coincided directly with the rise of the drug epidemic.
Likewise, the number of detainers issued by ICE even under Trump is still half the rate it was under Obama in 2011 before the collapse.
On the flip side, there was a surge in releases by immigration judges beginning around the same time as DACA and the suspension of the 287(g) program. The percentage of immigration cases that resulted in release by immigration judges surged from 30 percent to over 50 percent during this period. In some of the big trafficking hubs like New York and Boston, those numbers surged past 80 percent.
Compassion rooted in ignorance is cruelty that leads to the deaths of thousands of people. Guess what most of the aliens apprehended by ICE are typically picked up for? Almost every year, the top charge is for dangerous drugs. All of the primary trafficking is done, in large part, by criminal alien networks that now flourish thanks to these “American values” and “compassion.”
If you truly feel bad about separating families of both illegal aliens and Americans and all the chain reaction of woe it brings, you’d support automatic and immediate denial of entry and deportation for families – together.
President Trump needs to use his inherent Article II powers to stop entry as well as his delegated authority from Congress under 212(f) of the INA. He needs to announce that because of the drug crisis, nobody will be allowed to enter our country under asylum through the border because it does nothing but empower the drug cartels. All applications must be filed in a U.S. embassy in a safe and controlled environment. Also, section 235(b)(2)(C) of the Immigration and Nationality Act specifically allows the Department of Homeland Security to return to Mexico an alien seeking admission or asylum at a port of entry — pending any final outcome in immigration court.
The most compassionate thing to do for the people of Mexico and Central American tracks very closely with the most compassionate course of action for the American people — you know, the people the politicians are actually supposed to represent. And that means closing the border to all migration once and for all. No good can ever come from encouraging migration across a border controlled by some of the most evil people in the world, and that is a point on which we should all agree.
Editor’s note: This article has been updated to include a link to a 2014 New York Times article and to correct a misspelling in a quote from the NYT piece.
Daniel Horowitz is a senior editor of Conservative Review. Follow him on Twitter @RMConservative.