NEW YORK – The former “border czar” for the Obama administration, Alan Bersin, who now is Assistant Secretary of Homeland Security for International Affairs, declared in a speech he delivered in 2012 that the southern border of the United States is effectively the Mexican border with Guatemala.
Bersin made the remark at an annual Border Issues Conference hosted in Washington by the United States-Mexico Chamber of Commerce.
“This is a terrific period,” Bersin said in remarks suggesting the “real action” economically in the world will be in North America in the future, thanks to the oil and gas resources of Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
“The Guatemalan border with Chiapas, Mexico, is now our southern border,” Bersin claimed.
Statistics released by the U.S. Customs and Border Protection in the Department of Homeland Security confirm Bersin’s conclusion by documenting that a dramatic rise in recent years has been registered in the apprehension of illegal immigrants coming from Central American countries south of the Mexican border with Guatemala.
“While Border Patrol apprehensions of Mexicans in FY 2013 remained largely unchanged from FY2012, apprehensions of individuals from countries other than Mexico, predominately individuals from Central America, increased by 55 percent,” the U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported on Jan. 17, 2014.
The crisis of illegal immigration from Central America has intensified with 50,000 unaccompanied minors reportedly flooding into the United States illegally from Central America since October 2013.
“Beginning last year and specifically in the last few months, CBP has seen an overall increase in the apprehension of Unaccompanied Alien Children from Central America at the Southwest Border, specifically in the Rio Grande Valley,” CBP reported recently.
“While overall border apprehensions have only slightly increased during this time period, and remain at historic lows, the apprehension and processing of these children present unique operational challenges for CBP and HHS.”
The CBP published a table showing that while the apprehension of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children from Mexico has decreased since Fiscal Year 2009, the apprehension of unaccompanied illegal immigrant children from El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras has increased dramatically in the same period of time.
President Obama’s critics blame his policy of deferring deportation action against young illegal aliens for sending the message that if children reach the United States, they will be granted housing, food, education, medical and even legal benefits.