Unimaginable Human Tragedy On The Texas Border by Gary D. Halbert
FORECASTS & TRENDS E-LETTER
June 17, 2014
Unimaginable Human Tragedy On The Texas Border
IN THIS ISSUE:
1. The Inhumane Immigration Disaster in South Texas
2. Border Patrol Detention Centers Are Overwhelmed
3. How Do These Young Illegal Immigrants Get Here?
4. Did Obama Administration Allow This to Happen?
5. Conclusions – Even the Left is Starting to Criticize
The Inhumane Immigration Disaster in South Texas
Thousands of illegal immigrants are flooding across the border into Texas and other border states every day, but two things distinguish this wave from earlier illegal immigration waves.
First, Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans now make up about 75-80% of illegals caught in South Texas, whereas previously most people who crossed the border illegally originated in Mexico. Second, large numbers of these illegal migrants are unaccompanied children.
The number of children making these journeys by themselves has doubled each year since 2010. US authorities estimate that between 60,000 and 80,000 children will seek safe haven in the US this year, up from about 6,000 in 2011.
Some immigrant rights agencies project that number could soar to 130,000 next year. That’s more than all the people who came over from Cuba during the Mariel boatlift in 1980, which would make this the largest refugee crisis on US soil.
Some of the children are as young as four. Many have notes pinned to their shirts giving authorities a name and phone number or address of a relative or some other contact in the US. Others have nothing in the way of a US contact.
The situation was deemed so urgent by the Obama administration that on June 2 the White House issued a presidential memorandum directing the Secretary of Homeland Security to establish an interagency “Unified Coordination Group.” The group is to be created, stated President Obama, in “response to the influx of unaccompanied alien children across the Southwest border.”
California Rep. Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight Committee, expressed concern on Fox News last week that the mass migration of children trying to cross our border could result in fatalities. “This flood is going to mean children dying trying to get in,” said Issa.
He added, “And more important, children coming here with the anticipation that somehow they’re going to be granted citizenship, and then they will bring the rest of their family … that’s a false narrative.” The question is, why do they believe that? More on that below.
Texas Border Patrol Detention Centers Overwhelmed
The explosive increase in the number of illegal migrants coming over the border over the past several months – especially the number of children traveling without their parents – has overwhelmed the Border Patrol’s detention centers in South Texas, prompting officials to ship the children to converted warehouses and military bases as far away as Arizona and California.
During the past eight months, Customs and Border Protection has detained 47,000 unaccompanied minors, most of them in the Rio Grande Valley area of South Texas. This is an increase of 92% from the same period during the previous fiscal year.
“We’re fighting a losing battle right now,” said Chris Cabrera, the Border Patrol’s union representative in McAllen, Texas. “We don’t have anywhere to hold them.”
These shocking photos show child immigrants crammed inside cages and tiny rooms at a US government border facility – further highlighting the humanitarian crisis along America’s border with Mexico.
The images were taken at a holding center in Texas which can no longer accommodate large numbers of children and mothers traveling with their kids, forcing the federal government to open more facilities.
The report noted that many of the migrants – especially women and children – are not trying to sneak into the country but are crossing the border in plain sight of Border Patrol agents.
While illegal aliens from Mexico can be processed fairly quickly and sent back across the border, the situation for illegals from Central America is far more complicated. The laws are different for citizens of contiguous countries who cross the border. Unaccompanied children from Mexico and Canada are repatriated unless they are determined to be victims of trafficking.
But with non-contiguous countries, children are taken into US custody. Federal law says minors cannot be held at a Border Patrol facility for more than 72 hours. They have to be processed and then either sent to live with a relative in the United States or released to a shelter operated by the Office of Refugee Resettlement, which falls under the Department of Health and Human Services.
The refugee office operates about 100 permanent shelters for unaccompanied minors, said spokesman Kenneth Wolfe. Right now, they are filled to capacity. The surge in children crossing the border has forced authorities to open three temporary shelters at military bases – Lackland Air Force Base in Texas, Fort Sill in Oklahoma and Naval Base Ventura County in California.
If the refugee has no relative or other contact in the US, then the government must first clear their return with consular officials from their native country and then charter planes to fly them home. If the aliens request asylum in the United States, on the grounds that they fear persecution in their home countries, they must establish that their fears are credible.
Of course, any attempt to deal with this massive increase in illegal immigration and the notable changes in the nature of the migration – the shift from Mexico to Central America and the marked increase in unaccompanied children – must address the root causes of these changes in migration patterns.
A good place to start might be to study the sheer logistics of moving thousands of underage young people – practically all of whom come from homes too poor to own motor vehicles – all the way from Central America to the US border.
How Do These Young Illegal Immigrants Get Here?
In doing the research for today’s letter, I was struck by how little information is available about how, logistically, do these tens of thousands of refugees actually get here from Central America. The distance to South Texas from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador is roughly 1,800 miles and includes some rough terrain.
The assumption is that most of them walk. But let’s think about that. Even though most of them are young people, it’s difficult to think that they could walk 40 miles a day on average. But even if they did, with no interruptions, that would take 45 days. If they averaged only 30 miles a day, then we’re talking 60 days to get here.
And that means 45 or 60 days with adequate food and water. You can’t carry that in a backpack! I just don’t buy it. These tens of thousands of mostly young people had to have help along the way.
So the question no one seems to raise, not to mention answer, is how these thousands of children from poor areas of Central America manage to find their way – en masse – about 1,800 miles through Mexico’s rough roads to arrive in South Texas. While we cannot determine who is coordinating and assisting with their efforts, it is obvious that these children did not