Washington, DC - A new report from the U.S. Border Patrol proves that only the willfully ignorant can doubt that we’re dealing with an immigration crisis.
“The entire system right now is at full capacity,” agent Manuel Padilla said. “Actually, it’s overwhelmed.”
Border Patrol agents apprehended more than 66,000 migrants at the U.S.-Mexican border in February. That’s the highest total for a single month in almost a decade.
In February 2017, families and unaccompanied children made up 27 percent of those arrested or deemed inadmissible at the southern border. Two years later, it’s 62 percent.
Why the change? According to immigration expert David Inserra, loopholes in U.S. immigration law are the culprit. Combined with a weak asylum process, they “are creating incentives for adults to use children as pawns to get into the U.S.,” he writes in The Wall Street Journal.
Consider the unintended consequence of the Trafficking Victim Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008. It requires the Border Patrol to treat unaccompanied alien children from countries other than Mexico differently.
Border Patrol turns them over to the Department of Health and Human Services and lets them enter the U.S. pending an immigration-court hearing — one that may be years in the future.
Another loophole is more recent: a 2016 court case that requires the Department of Homeland Security to release all children, including those accompanied by parents, from custody.
[T]here’s been a spike in asylum claims by those who say they face a “credible fear” of prosecution.
It’s not hard for most of them to pass their initial hearing, but the immigration-court system that is supposed to give them a final ruling has a backup that averages two years. What happens in the meantime?
“Most then simply disappear into the U.S.,” writes Mr. Inserra.