NEW YORK – Rep. Paul Ryan, R-Wis., has “zero chance” to push amnesty through Congress this year before the summer recess, claims an immigration expert.
Mark Krikorian, executive director of the Center for Immigration Studies, told WND that despite President Obama characterizing the recent surge of Central American youth crossing the U.S. border with Mexico illegally as a “urgent humanitarian crisis,” it’s a problem of the White House’s own making.
Krikorian predicts, consequently, a backlash will come from Democrat voters as well as Republicans.
“The truth,” Krikorian said, “is that the Obama administration has enticed Central American youth to cross the border illegally, and the surge will persist as long as the Obama administration continues to deal with the crisis as a refugee problem instead of what it is, a law enforcement crisis.”
Ryan is engaged with two other Republican lawmakers in a secretive effort to gauge support for immigration-reform legislation before the August recess. It’s Ryan, Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart, R-Florida, and Rep. Mick Mulvaney, R-South Carolina, who are working on the idea of immigration reform right now.
Krikorian told WND that as thousands of illegal alien children from Central America begin rejoining their illegal alien parents and relatives in the U.S., the additional burden on state and local budgets risks creating a bipartisan voter reaction.
The backlash comes in an election year in which jobs are scarce and President Obama is struggling with declining public approval.
Krikorian also argued that a consequence of the current surge was to undermine the Obama administration’s claims that the border is under control.
“It seems to me, the surge makes it impossible to pass any immigration bill this year,” he emphasized.
“The surge will create huge burdens for public schools and public welfare agencies,” Krikorian said. “These kids all have to be admitted to public schools, because they aren’t allowed to turn away kids because they are illegally here. You’re also going to see an increased burden on public health facilities and hospital emergency rooms.”
But distinct from a situation in which an earthquake or a natural disaster causes people to flee, this surge of illegal immigrants doesn’t have a distinct ending point, Krikorian noted.
“There is no incentive for Central American countries to stop the surge,” he said. “But with the numbers of unaccompanied minors coming illegally to the United States doubling every year, you are going to start seeing some very angry people in Congress, and not all of them are going to be Republicans.”
Krikorian argued that the bipartisan adverse reaction in Congress will result not just from increased taxpayer costs but from the public recognition that the Obama administration has no control over the border, despite White House boasts to the contrary.
“The longer this goes on, you are going to have Democrats as well as independent voters saying, ‘We’ve got to get control over this situation, before we grant amnesty, and we obviously don’t have control over it,'” he stressed.
Government-paid amnesty lawyers
In recent days, the White House has announced a joint project between the Justice Department and AmeriCorps to recruit 100 lawyers and paralegals to provide free legal assistance to help youth crossing the border illegally to navigate their way through immigration proceedings.
“Now, with the Obama administration hiring lawyers to protect the Central American youth, the message is loud and clear,” Krikorian said.
“These are going to be government-paid lawyers whose job is to cook up excuses for you to stay here, and even more importantly to tie our own justice system in knots, making it impossible to return you back to where you came from in Central America,” he said.
On Sunday, the Washington Times reported the Obama administration is expecting to apprehend 90,000 unaccompanied alien children fleeing Central America this year and more than 140,000 next year, not counting those who elude capture.
The government-hired lawyers will reinforce the impression that the flood of Central American youth are refugees, not law-breakers
“Tens of thousands more are on the way,” Krikorian predicted.
“If you were a kid in Central America, why wouldn’t you come to America if the Obama White House is welcoming you here with open arms?”
Enticing youth to America
Krikorian contends the Obama administration has created the crisis not only by being lax on border enforcement, but also by launching special programs for immigrant youths that have enticed tens of thousands of Central American teenagers to take the risk of crossing the border illegally, often without their parents.
“For years, the Obama administration has been lax on enforcing immigration laws in the interior,” he noted, quoting former Immigration and Customs Enforcement acting director John Sandweg.
Sandweg said in April: “If you are a run-of-the-mill immigrant here illegally, your odds of getting deported are close to zero.”
In 2011, the Obama White House announced a new policy in which Department of Homeland Security no longer actively seeks to deport illegal immigrants who do not have criminal records but instead reviews all existing deportation cases involving non-criminal immigrants on a case-by-case basis.
“When you add to that the president’s illegal ‘DREAM’ amnesty, which has given legal status including work permits Social Security numbers to more than 500,000 illegal immigrants who have come to the United States, the message is pretty clear to people in Central America,” he said.
“If you come to the United States with kids, or if the kids come on their own, they will be let go. So, you need to get here while the getting is good.”
Obama working with child smugglers?
Krikorian said the Obama administration has begun “dumping” illegal immigrant families in Arizona because the flood to get Central American youth across the border now has overwhelmed immigration facilities in south Texas.
“The federal government is trying to spread out the illegal immigrants from South Texas,” he explained.
“So government immigration authorities are giving moms with kids free bus tickets to Phoenix so they can go and do whatever they’re going to do. The illegal immigrants are released with a summons to appear in court 30 days later for an immigration hearing, but that just means you have this summons and you are legal for 30 days. You use that time to get where you are going, where they have relatives for instance, and they’re never going to show up for their hearings, obviously.”
This, added to lax enforcement of immigration laws, builds quickly to crisis levels, he argued.
“Unless you’re a dope dealer or a murderer, ICE isn’t even going to be looking for you. So, in effect, the Obama administration has told these people they are free and clear to stay here unmolested,” Krikorian said.
“And now Heath and Human Services is talking about this recent crisis as a question of ‘resettling’ these children in the United States, as if this is a refugee flow, rather than enforcing the law and retaining them as illegal immigrants and returning them to Central America as fast and reasonably as possible.”
Krikorian pointed to a decision by federal Judge Andrew S. Hansen, who in a 10-page order in December 2013 accused the Obama administration Department of Homeland Security of smuggling illegal immigrant children into the United States to reunite the children with their illegal immigrant parents at government expense.
The case centered on a 10-year-old girl whose mother paid a smuggler to get her daughter from El Salvador across the border to join her in Virginia. The DHS agents, who apprehended the smuggler and the young girl, prosecuted the smuggler, but delivered the daughter to the mother in Virginia, even though the DHS agents were aware the mother was in the country illegally.
“If the border patrol actually catches some smuggled children, rather than telling their parents, ‘Come get them, and bring your bags because you’re illegally here too,’ the Obama administration is actually delivering them free of charge to their parents, no questions asked,” Krikorian said.
“That’s the kind of thing that gets back to Central America pretty quick.”
Krikorian ended the interview warning the Obama administration is going to have difficulty bringing the crisis to an end.
The only way to put an end to the surge, he argued, was to send out a clear message that all unaccompanied minors crossing the border illegally from Central American would be apprehended and returned to their Central American homes.
“Once this gets momentum, it becomes harder to stop,” he said, “and I don’t see how the Obama White House is going to be politically capable of stopping this surge. If the White House decides the surge is a bleeding wound that had to be stopped, how can President Obama sustain a policy of tough border enforcement without causing the left flank within the administration and the Democratic Party from rising up and objecting?”