Mexican-American border remains porous
Record number of crossings goes against Obama security narrative
The Southwest border has broken open in recent weeks, with non-Mexicans — and illegal immigrant children in particular — crossing at a record rate in October, according to Border Patrol statistics that suggest the administration’s victory lap earlier this year was premature.
Nearly 5,000 unaccompanied children were caught in October, and nearly 3,000 more had been caught in the first half of November — a record pace for those months — and it signals just how closely smuggling cartels and would-be illegal immigrants themselves are paying attention to lax enforcement in the U.S.
Worse yet, the increases are borderwide, with every one of the nine Southwest border sectors showing spikes in what the Border Patrol dubs OTMs, or “other than Mexicans.”
Those who track the issue said the surges show a breakdown in enforcement, and called it worrying at a time of heightened international danger.
“The greatest existential threat to this nation right now is this administration’s open-border policy. This is no longer about immigration, it’s about the president and DHS keeping open the corridors on the southern border that are accessible to anyone in the world,” said Rep. Duncan Hunter, a California Republican who has raised concerns over national security risks at the border.
“We can defend our country against another country’s navy, a missile threat and even repel a conventional military invasion. But the president’s policy of allowing anyone into the nation as students or refugees presents a serious threat,” he said.
Some 25,000 illegal immigrants from El Salvador, Honduras and Guatemala have been caught in the first seven weeks of the fiscal year, which began Oct. 1 — an increase of 58 percent. The number of Chinese, Brazilians, Indians and, strikingly, Cubans, has each surged by more than 100 percent, and the number from Pakistan, while small overall, has spiked from 6 at this point last year to 31 now — an increase of more than 400 percent.
Syria, strikingly, is not on the list — despite recent reports that Syrians have been apprehended on the border in the middle of the recent refugee debate.
Border Patrol officials in Washington didn’t offer an explanation for the surge, which contradicts the sunny outlook officials have publicly portrayed. Indeed, the last fiscal year saw illegal immigration overall, as measured by number of apprehensions, drop to its lowest rate since the 1970s.
That was chiefly powered by a fall in Mexican migration, which has dropped off dramatically in the last five years. But it’s being replaced by a bigger flow from Central America, particularly of women and children who are fleeing grim conditions back home and taking advantage of lax policies here in the U.S. that grant them access to the nation’s interior and leave little danger of them being deported anytime soon.
Indeed, in court documents the administration has admitted both the smuggling cartels and would-be crossers pay close attention to U.S. policies, and any perceived relaxation of enforcement entices more of them to undertake the perilous journey.
That’s exactly what illegal immigrants themselves are telling Border Patrol agents when they’re caught, according to an Associated Press report last month. The migrants say they believe that under Mr. Obama’s policies, they will earn a “permiso,” or free pass, if they can reach the U.S. border.
“It’s the same story as last year,” said Shawn Moran, spokesman for the National Border Patrol Council, the labor union that represents line agents. “Our agents are still getting hammered.”
Stephen Miller, spokesman for Sen. Jeff Sessions and the immigration subcommittee of the Senate Committee on the Judiciary, said illegal immigrants are responding to the push for leniency in the U.S., including the 2013 Senate bill that would have legalized most illegal immigrants, Mr. Obama’s executive actions halting most deportations and the increasing use of “catch-and-release” policies for illegal immigrant women and children.
“These are immense pull factors,” Mr. Miller said. “This surge occurs at a time when the federal government continues
Nearly 5,000 unaccompanied children were nabbed trying to cross the southern U.S. border in October and 3,000 more in November, giving human smugglers a win over authorities.
U.S. authorities are predicting that nearly 5,000 children will be in custody in total by the end of November. When the children are placed with U.S. families, they tend to skip deportation hearings and disappear into the shadows with 11 million other illegals.