The Corner


Background on the Border Controversy

The White House is pushing out some background data on the context for its new enforcement push at the border (i.e., prosecuting more illegal border-crossers, including adults with children):


The Administration has repeatedly advocated for the closure to federal immigration loopholes that would allow for the swift, safe, and expeditious return of illegal alien minors, adults, and families at the southern border. However, the Democratic Party has repeatedly opposed these loophole closures in favor of preserving “catch-and-release” policies that make a mockery of national sovereignty. The Administration is hopeful that the Democratic Party will abandon its position of open borders and will support the Administration’s common-sense reforms to close catch-and-release loopholes, so all illegal aliens caught at the border can be returned home expeditiously.

* Since the beginning of FY16, more than 110K UACs have been released into the interior of the United States, according to the most recent figures released by HHS.

* From October to December of 2017, HHS placed 7,635 UACs with sponsors and only five of them were removed from the United States due to the legal loopholes in federal law that drive international child smuggling and reckless child endangerment.

* Approximately 6,000 unaccompanied children each year fail to appear in court when they’ve been summoned subsequent to being released in the U.S. interior.

* Approximately 90 percent of all removal orders each year result from a failure to appear at a hearing.

* From October 2017 to this February, DHS saw a staggering 315% increase in illegal aliens using children to pose as family units to gain entry into the country, compared to the same time frame the previous year.

* Only 3.4 percent of unaccompanied minors from countries other than Mexico encountered at the southwest border in FY 2014 had been removed or returned as of FY 2017 year-end.

* From April 2017 to April 2018, the number of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) at the ports of entry increased by 636%.

* The number of cases of UAC pending in immigration court has risen from less than 4000 in FY10 to over 76,000 presently.

* The influx of UACs creates recruiting opportunities for brutal gangs such as MS-13. “Operation Matador,” so far has led to the arrest of nearly 500 individuals, including 274 MS-13 members. Ninety-nine individuals arrested during this operation crossed the border as unaccompanied minors—that’s more than 36% of those arrested — all of which were confirmed as MS-13 gang members.

* The Democrats’ open borders policies are responsible for the permanent separation of thousands of American families, whose loved ones were killed and taken from them forever through illegal immigrant crime and open borders. Just this week, an illegal MS-13 gang member, who was released in the country due to his status as an unaccompanied minor, was arrested for allegedly murdering a man in Houston and burning his victim’s body.

* Furthermore, Democrat policies preserving catastrophic asylum loopholes have led to a 600,000 caseload backlog that swamps out legitimate asylum seekers while overwhelming the entire U.S. immigration system and perpetuating a hemispheric migration crisis at enormous cost to U.S. taxpayers and American lives.


Rich Lowry — Rich Lowry is the editor of National Review. He can be reached via email: 

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