The Morning Jolt

Politics & Policy

The Surge of Migrants at the Border Never Stopped

The Surge of Migrants at the Border Never Stopped

Remember the surge of often-unaccompanied children that came across America’s southern border in the summer of 2014?

More than 52,000 unaccompanied children were caught trying to cross the southern U.S. border in the first five months of this year. Between 60,000 to 90,000 such children are expected to have crossed by the end of 2014, and more than 140,000 are expected next year, according to the White House. That’s more than double the 24,668 that flowed across last year and triple the 13,625 children that came in 2012.

Because of the national media’s intermittent-at-best interest in our southern border, it was easy to think the problem had died down or dwindled a bit. Apparently, the numbers never really went down.

The surge of Central American families seeking asylum at U.S. borders is not letting up, Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowske said Wednesday after touring a temporary holding facility in the Rio Grande Valley set up to manage the influx.

The number of apprehensions along the southwestern border can be close to 2,000 a day — with most people turning themselves in, Kerlikowske said in a phone interview. The November influx was as high as what was seen in October: 46,195, he said.

The precise monthly number is to be announced next week.

Now, the 2014 figures were for children, and the recent figures were for all ages, but you get the picture. The people kept coming — often driven by the rumor that the United States government was providing “permisos” to those who made the journey. The Department of Homeland Security ran an op-ed in Spanish-language outlets in 2014 declaring that there are no “permisos” for unattended children. The announcement apparently had little to no effect.

Hundreds of immigrant families caught illegally crossing the Mexican border between July and September told U.S. immigration agents they made the dangerous trip in part because they believed they would be permitted to stay in the United States and collect public benefits.

So now the U.S. government, at considerable taxpayer expense, is constructing new facilities to process and care for these people coming across the border. It is the compassionate thing to do — but it is also not fair to expect America to underwrite the costs of caring for and educating the impoverished of Central American countries.

The new one in Donna is set to open Friday. It’s located adjacent to the Donna-Rio Bravo International Bridge.

“Our ports of entry are not equipped to hold people. So, we really do need these kinds of facilities,” Kerlikowske said.

Children and families will be transferred at the facility, after they are processed at the Border Patrol station or at a port of entry.

“They have to be processed and they have to be questioned. We have to find out who they are, and why they’re coming, is there the potential that someone would want to do harm to the country. And then we have to process them biometrically. Records about their height and their weight and their fingerprints, this process here helps us after they’re gone through all that,” he said.

When immigrants arrive at the facility, they will be able to take a shower. Their clothes will be washed and they’ll be provided with a new set of clothes. They’ll remain at the facility for about 72 hours.

Cots will fill some of the rooms. There will be televisions and DVD players to keep children occupied while they wait.

Contracted vendors will service three hot meals a day. And contracted medical staff will also be available around the clock.

Then, the people will go with either Immigration and Customs Enforcement or the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

Many of them will end up in downtown McAllen at the bus station and Sacred Heart Respite Center.

They’ll head to meet families in cities across the country with a notice to appear in immigration court.

CBP said they’ll keep that facility open as long as it’s needed. They said they operated a similar one for a while in Weslaco back in 2014. They stopped when the numbers slowed down.

This does not just impact communities along the southern border. In the 2014 fiscal year, Fairfax County, Virginia accepted 1,373 undocumented minors who have been placed with sponsors; the following year, 560; the most recent fiscal year, 150.

An End to Rewarding Those Who Refuse to Abide by the Law

Noah Rothman, pointing out how the protest of Native Americans and affiliated leftist groups at Standing Rock illuminates a method of public decision-making that will probably cease once Obama leaves office:

On November 20, as demonstrators made an organized effort to cross a local bridge to block another highway, police resisted. What followed was what the sheriff’s office called a “riot” in which 400 protesters clashed with police. Water cannons, tear gas, and rubber bullets were used to disperse “very aggressive” protesters when they “attempted to flank and attack the law enforcement line from the west,” police said. At least one officer was struck in the head during the skirmish. According to demonstrators, 200 were injured in the attack and 12 hospitalized.

So this was a political decision made by political appointees and, as such, it can be reversed by the next administration’s political appointees…

Worse, however, is the Army’s decision to convey to America’s most disruptive elements that violence and disorder works. We can expect to see more of these kinds of disruptive and violent protests. The next round of uncivil demonstrations will, however, occur in a different political culture. They might face an administration more inclined to clear out encampments and round up hundreds on buses. Moreover, for the Trump administration, the threat of politically inconvenient optics arising from such events is no threat at all.

The Sad, Desperate Effort to Ensure the 2016 Election Never Ends

Checking in on those spectacular wastes of time and money in the Great Lakes states, a.k.a. “the recounts”…

In Michigan, a federal judge has had enough, and concurred with a state court ruling that Stein had no standing to request the recount.

In his eight-page opinion, U.S. District Judge Mark Goldsmith said “there is no basis” for him to ignore a state court ruling that said the recount should never had started. He was referring to the Michigan Court of Appeals 3-0 ruling, which said that Green Party Candidate Jill Stein, who requested the recount, never had a shot at winning with her fourth-place finish and 1% of the vote, and therefore was not an aggrieved candidate.

Goldsmith’s ruling also bolstered some arguments that were repeatedly made by the Michigan Republican Party: that there was never any evidence that hacking or fraud occurred at the polls, and that  Michigan’s voting system is so secure that not even the “Gremlins, Martians or Russian hackers” could tamper with it. That argument appeared to carry some weight with the judge.

“To date, plaintiffs have not presented evidence of tampering or mistake. Instead, they present speculative claims going to the vulnerability of the voting machinery — but not actual injury,”  Goldsmith wrote, adding the potential for fraud is not enough to continue to allow the recount to proceed.

The Republican Party also apparently convinced Goldsmith that the recount would have cost taxpayers too much money – $5 million by one count — if his comments are any indication.

God bless you, Judge Goldsmith. Finally, somebody’s standing up for the taxpayers in this farce.

Meanwhile, in Wisconsin, it’s full speed ahead, which will change… almost nothing.

Wisconsin’s presidential recount is 70% done but the effort has resulted in almost no change to President-elect Donald Trump’s winning margin in the state, election officials said.

The Wisconsin Elections Commission said Democrat Hillary Clinton has gained 82 votes so far on Trump, a Republican who won the Nov. 8 election in the state by more than 22,000 votes.

The recount is on schedule to finish by the Monday deadline for local officials and the Tuesday deadline for the state, with 34 of Wisconsin’s 72 counties and the city of Milwaukee already finished, according to the state commission and Milwaukee Election Commission executive director Neil Albrecht. Some of the state’s biggest counties, including Dane and Brown, are still counting by hand or machine, however.

Clinton has picked up 492 votes so far in the recount, but has gained almost no ground since Trump himself gained 410 votes in this new tally and led by 22,177 votes going into the recount.

Green Party candidate Jill Stein, whose campaign paid $3.5 million to ensure Wisconsin did a recount, has gained only 60 votes. That works out to more than $58,000 for each vote that Stein has gained in the recount up to now.

Money well spent, huh, Stein donors?

ADDENDA: I’ll be on Cam Edwards’ show from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. Eastern on NRATV.