An overwhelming surge of tens of thousands of illegal alien children crossing our southern border has been happening in the past few months, everyone is looking for a scapegoat. Rather than seeking out a solution to end this surge, most would prefer to just point fingers. The blame game is a lot like sex. It sells. Unfortunately, most are rather biased in how they point fingers. Democrats blame Bush. Republicans blame Obama. Libertarians blame our open border as not being open enough. It’s never really that simple; however, as there are many areas to place blame, so we’re going to play this “game” right. What’s causing all these illegal alien children to come here so suddenly?
Obama and DACA
In all fairness, Obama is the chief executive of this country and oversees all border security and immigration departments. On June 15, 2012, the Obama administration announced rule changes called the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). As you can see in the video below, Obama made the announcement publicly in the White House Rose Garden. According to him, the children brought here against their will are Americans “in every, single way but one, on paper.” The rule applies to nearly every illegal alien who was under the age of 31 as of June 15, 2012, was under 16 when they came to America, and has resided in America continuously since 2007. While the last exception should rule out the thousands of illegal alien children that have come across the border over these past few months, this rule, when reaching the ears of Central Americans, could be easily misinterpreted as a free pass.
However, it’s very likely that most will receive a free pass, even those who do not qualify for DACA. Some are even celebrated. On June 17, 2014, the White House held a “Champions of Change” ceremony for 10 illegal aliens who received deferred action under DACA. They were proclaimed as “success stories” and “role models.”
Department of Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson
Johnson has been very ambiguous in statements on whether or not DHS will deport the illegal alien children that have arrived here. On Meet the Press, Johnson stated that everyone crossing illegally was administered deportation proceeding, but he emphasized that he wanted “additional options for dealing with the children”.
Bill Clinton and Congress
Just before Bill Clinton left office, Congress, with near unanimity in both Houses (one Representative voted no), passed the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act of 2000. This bill was designed to assist illegal immigrant children who were trafficked here. To qualify, one must be under 18, claim to be a victim of human trafficking, and be willing to assist in the investigation and prosecution of the traffickers. In return, they automatically qualify “for benefits and services under any Federal or State program or activity” funded by the Department of Health & Human Services, Department of Labor, and Legal Services Corporation. Essentially, this law protects the illegal alien children who are not from Mexico or Canada, roughly 39,000, from being quickly deported.
George W. Bush and Congress
Bush has been falsely attributed as the creator of the above law by many media outlets, thus the person to blame. As shown above, it was actually under Bill Clinton’s watch that the original bill passed, BUT Bush did sign the renewal of the bill on 3 separate occasions: 2003, 2005, and 2008.
Obama and Congress
Under the Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013, the above law was most recently renewed and signed by Obama.
Lyndon B. Johnson and Congress
In 1965, the Hart-Celler Act was passed and signed by LBJ, which ended the program of immigration quotas by country. Instead, it placed preference towards family reunification (aka chain migration). Under this law and if the illegal alien children qualify to stay under the above trafficking law, this would allow the children’s parents to legally migrate to the U.S. Otherwise, if the order had been reversed, the parents would have been deported. It could be assumed that the parents of the illegal alien children are using them as the chain in order to come here without going through proper channels.
Central American Media
Media outlets in Central America might be encouraging people to come here or misleading them about our laws. The Huffington Post found that “the region’s newspapers often failed to emphasize the June 2012 cutoff date” for DACA. Newsmax reported that several Central American outlets were promoting the idea that accommodation would be found for illegal alien children.
Obama and the Deportation Deception
The Obama Administration continues to tout its toughness on immigration by citing its high deportation numbers. Unfortunately, this is not exactly true. While the number of forced removals is all-time highs, this, historically, is not the majority of deportations. As we’ve shown in the past, total deportations per year, including voluntary/self-deportations, are at 40 year lows. Deportation is not a deterrent to these crossings.
There have been numerous decisions relating to immigration, but the biggest of all relating to these children is arguably Plyler v. Doe. In a 5-4 vote in 1975, the Supreme Court ruled that illegal aliens and their children were to be given 14th Amendment protections and had a right to free, public, K-12 education. Since many public schools in the U.S. are much better than those in Central America, this award to illegal alien children would definitely incentivize more to come.
Rick Perry and the Texas Legislature
Plyler v. Doe did not extend the education rights of illegal aliens to in-state tuition for state universities, so the Texas Legislature did that for them in 2001 with HB 1403 and was signed by Gov. Rick Perry. This law granted illegal alien students access to in-state tuition at Texas public institutions of higher education and state financial aid. All they have to do is prove their residence of three years in Texas, graduate or get a GED from a Texas public or private high school, and announce their intent to apply for permanent resident status. Rick Perry, during his 2012 presidential run, famously stated that anybody who opposes these education policies for illegal aliens don’t “have a heart.”
California has gone above and beyond Texas in the race to accommodate illegal aliens. Starting in 2015, illegal aliens will be eligible for state driver’s licenses. They are able to collect welfare, such as food stamps and cash assistance, and can use Medi-Cal, California’s version of Medicaid. Illegal aliens are also now eligible to apply for law licenses within the state. The group FAIR recently estimated that California spends $25.3 billion on services for illegal aliens. In Los Angeles County alone, $650 million was estimated by the Department of Public Social Services to have been distributed by illegal aliens. Additionally, California law prohibits landlords from asking an applicant or tenant about their immigration status.
Mexican Drug Cartels
The drug cartels are actually assisting the illegal alien children to cross, according to Texas DPS director Steve McCraw. Why? Essentially, these children are being used as decoys to distract and overwhelm the Border Patrol. With this system in place, narcotics can flow practically unimpeded into the U.S. Total drug seizures have dropped 34%, meaning the drug cartels are banking heavily on the continued flow of illegal aliens.
The list could go on and on, but the causes listed above show the three main causes/incentives for these illegal alien children to cross as being a porous, unenforced border, a welfare state, and politicians with open arms.