McALLEN, Texas – Mimicking a controversial remark by candidate Barack Obama at a 2008 campaign rally, a Texas congressman surveying the current border crisis, which he blames on White House policies, quipped, “Americans should learn Spanish.”
Rep. Steve Stockman, R-Texas, in an interview at the border at McAllen, Texas, was referring to Obama’s admonition at a rally July 8, 2008, in Powder Springs, Georgia, which began in the context of his objection to requiring English to be the official language in the United States.
“Instead of worrying about whether immigrants can learn English, you need to make sure your child can speak Spanish,” Obama said at the time.
Stockman is concerned Obama’s open-border policies, which have enticed a flood of unaccompanied illegal alien children to come to the border, are intended to push the United States toward a tipping point demographically.
In a “chain migration,” thousands more parents, siblings and other relatives from Central America will come to the U.S. to join the unaccompanied children now entering the country.
“It’s a bizarre concept when you think about it,” Stockman told WND. “But what Obama is saying is that you have foreign guests in your house, and instead of them learning your language, you are expected to learn theirs.”
Stockman charged that Obama’s goal in allowing the current invasion from Central America is to change American culture fundamentally.
“Obama devalues the principles upon which this country was established,” he said. “He’s angered at Americans, as if we were the people causing the problems south of the border. So Obama adopts a Third World view and demands not only we allow these people to remain but suggests we should start teaching our children Spanish.”
Stockman questioned the political left’s insistence that compassion requires the U.S. to allow the unaccompanied minors to remain in the country even though they have crossed the border illegally.
What does ‘compassion’ mean?
In an exclusive interview last weekend in McAllen, Texas, Chris Cabrera, a Border Patrol agent for nearly 13 years and a vice president in the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307, told WND that U.S. policies are “putting these unaccompanied minors from Central America in danger by putting forth the message by our actions that if you get to the United States, we will release you.”
“It’s not necessarily the kid who is willing to take that dangerous journey, it’s the parent willing to send the child on the dangerous journey,” he said.
“Even if you are a 15-year-old boy and you’re traveling with your 12-year-old sister, and somebody grabs one or both of you, who is going to fight for you? Some guy you met on top of a train?”
Stockman believes the compassionate thing for the U.S. government to do is to stop the flow.
Cabrera agreed: “If I were compassionate for a child, I would never put that child on top of a train in the company of what may be serious criminals, and say, ‘You’re on your own, so figure out your way through three countries and then cross a dangerous river.’
“To me that’s not compassion,” he said.
Cabrera explained how the criminal “coyote” guides operate in Mexico.
“Once these kids get across the border of Guatemala into Mexico, the coyotes control them every step of the way,” he said. “All this is run by the drug cartels. Nothing happens, whether it’s the southern border of Mexico or the northern border of Mexico, nothing crosses that border without the say-so of whoever in Mexico is in control of that area.”
He detailed how the coyotes profit from human trafficking.
“Some smugglers in Mexico deal only with kids, and they demand half a payment before the kid starts the journey and the other half before the kid is allowed to cross the Rio Grande,” he said. “The coyotes demand payments anywhere from $5,000 to $10,000 for each kid, and if they are from exotic countries, up to $30,000.”
Cabrera reflected on how profitable the Mexican borders are for the coyotes and the drug cartels controlling the border.
“If you’re looking at $5,000 a head on the low end and you cross 200 a week, and those are low numbers, you’re making a lot of money per week, totally tax free,” he said. “That’s some good money there.
“But if you don’t pay, you don’t get to go. Even if you do pay what was agreed, the coyotes may extract some money before you get to cross the river,” he said. “Then, there’s always the danger of another coyote stealing that group from the original coyote, then more money comes out of the pocket.”
He explained that the U.S. border on the Mexican side is controlled by the cartels.
“If you’re a coyote who is outside the cartel or the organization, then that smuggler is going to have to pay a tax to whoever owns that stretch of the river,” he said. “Regardless who owns that stretch of river, it is controlled by the cartels. You’re not crossing with people, you’re not getting into that river without paying a tax.”
He pointed out that those without the money to pay the coyotes are left on their own to take more dangerous routes to the north.
“We hear a lot about the train ‘La Bestia,’” he said, referring to the railway dubbed “the Beast” on which stowaways make their way through Mexico. “It’s a dangerous ride. A lot of kids, even adults as well, get cut in half by the train, or lose an arm or a leg by falling off. It’s not uncommon. Then at the stops, those riding the trains get harassed by the different criminal organizations operating in that area.”
Cabrera added it is not uncommon for the boys as well as the girls coming from Central America to get raped or otherwise sexually assaulted in Mexico.
“A lot of these parents will put their daughters on birth control pills before they make the trip,” he said. “We will find areas where they call them the ‘rape trees’ where you find bras, underwear and morning-after pills scattered all over the landings. That’s where these criminals take these young girls and do what they want with them. These people believe it’s part of the journey, part of the price [the migrants] have to pay.”
As WND reported, Rep. Michele Bachmann, R-Minn., and Rep. Steve King, R-Iowa, said the DHS disclosed at various congressional briefings at the Texas border Saturday that 80 percent of the “unaccompanied minors” are teenagers between 14 and 17 years old, 80 percent are male, and somewhere between 60 to 70 percent of the girls were raped, sexually assaulted or victimized on their journey north.
Cabrera said the psychological damage done to the Central American youths trying to enter the U.S. illegally is tremendous, with consequences yet to unfold in the decades to come.
“Sometimes you come upon a group of young women, maybe 14 or 15 years old, and they’re just crying uncontrollably,” he said. “You sit them down and you try to talk to them the best that you can. You get some of the female agents to come in and talk to them. But then you load them up and transport them to station, and unfortunately our stations are not designed for issues like this. We’re not designed to hold you for counseling sessions.”
The gang’s all here
Bachmann was sharply critical of the Obama administration in a WND interview Saturday evening in McAllen.
She learned from DHS that about 57,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America entered the United States illegally through June 15, and many are either gang members or prime candidates for recruitment by the notorious Central American gang MS-13.
Bachmann said DHS told the members of Congress that of the 50,000 members of MS-13 in the world, some 10,000 are known to be operating now in the United States.
“What it comes down to is that we are providing the fulfillment operation of a violent, international, criminal enterprise,” she said.
The Congress members confirmed neither the Border Patrol nor the DHS is taking biometric identification of the Central Americans under age 14.
“We are scattering these unaccompanied minors all over the country by taxpayers paying for Health and Human Services when we have no positive way of identifying the ones 14 years old or younger,” King said.
“And we’re releasing them to a family member, even a godparent, who we also know virtually nothing about, not even if they are the family members they claim to be,” he said.
“Think of it, some 37,000 Central American teenagers disbursed by taxpayers throughout the country when we don’t know for sure their identities; but we do know many have acknowledged to be members of criminal gangs currently, and we know a lot of the others are prime recruits for the Hispanic criminal gangs once we get here.”
Bachmann said she found evidence the Obama administration was anticipating the onslaught of young illegal aliens. The huge, DHS-contracted shelter facility operated by a nonprofit group was given was up and running in January.
“The facility was new, all decked-out, with classroom facilities and everything, and it looked to us like it was a ‘school-in-a-box’ prepared in January, evidently because the Obama administration knew back then that this teenager invasion from Central America was on the way,” Bachmann said.
Sister Norma Pimentel of the Missionary of Jesus, the executive director of the Catholic Charities of the Rio Grande Valley at Sacred Heart Church in McAllen, confirmed to WND that many of the women they take care of claim they were raped along the way.