I teach a lot of Hispanic kids, including a bunch who I'm pretty sure do not have their paperwork in order despite having been in this country since a very young age. I can see the argument for giving them some sort of legal status.
Unfortunately, the promise of such status in the near future is having this unintended consequence that makes me question whether or not the proposed policy is creating a bigger problem.
After seeing children packed in a Border Patrol station in McAllen, Tex., during a visit last Sunday, Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson on Monday declared “a level-four condition of readiness” in the Rio Grande Valley. The alert was an official recognition that federal agencies overseeing borders, immigration enforcement and child welfare had been outstripped by a sudden increase in unaccompanied minors in recent weeks.
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In an interview on Friday, Mr. Johnson said the influx of unaccompanied youths had “zoomed to the top of my agenda” after his encounters at the McAllen Border Patrol station with small children, one of whom was 3.
The children are coming primarily from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, making the perilous journey north through Mexico to Texas without parents or close adult relatives. Last weekend alone, more than 1,000 unaccompanied youths were being held at overflowing border stations in South Texas, officials said.
The flow of child migrants has been building since 2011, when 4,059 unaccompanied youths were apprehended by border agents. Last year more than 21,000 minors were caught, and Border Patrol officials had said they were expecting more than 60,000 this year. But that projection has already been exceeded.
It is only May, but we have had over 60K unaccompanied minors picked up and detained for violating our immigration laws? And there are untold numbers more who have not been caught? This clearly has to do with the fact that it is clear that they will get some legal status (and likely citizenship) soon -- so send them across at great personal risk so that someone can bring the rest of the family across legally in a couple of years. That is a predictable consequence of the proposed policy for "DREAMers" -- and will create a predictable nightmare for this country as the parents, siblings, and cousins of these newly minted citizens start clamoring to come across our unsecured border.