“In the third of a series of reports on the placement of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) in communities across the country, the Center for Immigration Studies explores the implications of tens of thousands of UACs being entrusted to illegal immigrant sponsors.”
The new report published by Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) reveals a layer of corruption by the Obama administration that many will find shocking.
Mexican families often send their children over the border by themselves. This dangerous practice has several advantages to the parents.
During the Obama administration, UACs were granted even more freedoms than illegal adults. Children were viewed as innocent and therefore very rarely vetted or deported. Once a child was into the United States, border patrols and DHS was less likely to bar additional family members from joining them.
This policy was easily manipulated. Large groups of adult could all claim to be with the child, all without documentation. In an alarming twist, men would often find children to latch on to before crossing the border. This gave them insurance if they were caught by patrols.
Older children are often sent to join family members in America. Once in the states, the children are put on welfare, Obama’s lax policies did not require documentation to receive benefits. The money for each child could then be wired back to Mexico to the remaining family.
Undoubtedly, there were other ways, illegals have becomes adept at using the system to their benefit. Sadly, it was our president that was allowing much of this to occur.
We are now reaching a new page of Obama’s exploits, rehoming unaccompanied children with illegal families already living in the U.S. The numbers are staggering, Joe Kolb, a Center fellow and author of the report states, “From FY 2014 – FY 2016, 106,802 UACs were placed in illegal alien households throughout the country as a result of Obama administration policies.”
The report also finds that over 80% of the “sponsors” were here illegally as well. This allowed the children to be used as pawns. The illegal families could then collect benefits, including those designated for people housing unaccompanied minors.
That is just the beginning. The policy not only condones illegal immigration by rewarding the aliens, the report states that it “enables criminal activity in the United States by allowing criminal gangs and trafficking organizations to take advantage of these lax policies.”
One gang taking advantage of that is the infamous MS-13. The criminal group is made up of Mexican youth who are here illegally. Many come over the border with the gang but others are recruited from vulnerable populations, such as unaccompanied children.
The report concludes, “The fact that these children are either attracted to or are coerced into joining local street gang cliques has been well documented by the author in a previous report dealing with the strife occurring in Brentwood, Long Island. And yet, no sponsor has ever been held accountable.”
That is an additional problem. There are policies regarding sponsor families, one of them being that the families must report in on the children and get them to deportation hearings if required. This is just not happening and the agency in charge has been allowing it.
13,000 Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) or 36% are reported to have skipped out on their immigration court hearings. Of the ones who did appear, only 25% have qualified for permission to stay.”
9% of parental sponsors, 15-18% of non-parental sponsors, and less than half of the youths have been reached in follow up calls from the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). The final “compliance rate of UACs housed with illegal sponsors is not tracked.”
The end result is children are essentially being lost. Put into the system with unvetted, undocumented families, they are often never heard from again. This was completely acceptable to the previous administration.
Mark Weber, spokesman for ORR, says the process is being carefully followed. “The sponsor is responsible for the child’s care and well-being.” Weber also said that sponsors are required to “undergo basic background checks and complete a sponsor assessment process designed to try to identify risk factors and other potential safety concerns. As a part of the release process, all potential sponsors must undergo a criminal public records check.”
Soothing words but ultimately untrue. In fiscal year 2015, only 1,895 home visits were conducted out of 33,726 DHS referrals. That leaves a shocking number of children going to families who may be completely unsafe. A border patrol agent recounted being aware of “numerous cases where a child was placed with a sponsor who merely provided a post office box and not a physical address as required.”
The report offers several suggestions for fixing the problem. It will require a multi-faceted approach since there have been so many errors for so long. The author suggests;
- An immediate moratorium on using illegal immigrants as sponsors unless they agree to be placed in deportation proceedings and comply with immigration laws.
- Prompt referral to ICE and appropriate consequences when a UAC or sponsor fails to comply with the provisions of the placement.
- Sponsors who violate their responsibilities should be subject to consequences.
- Close loopholes that have been exploited by advocates for illegal aliens and Obama administration officials to accelerate the release of minors.
- Monthly notification of local officials, to include law enforcement, health and education officials, and the public by ORR of UAC placements in the community, including identification of the sponsors.
The solutions are basic, requiring little more than following policies that have been in place all along. The greatest trouble will be in finding the children who are already here and arranging new sponsor families for them or deporting them.
This is truly a problem that could and should have been avoided. Even if Obama felt compelled to open our borders, what was his reasoning for taking innocent children and allowing them to be used as pawns by so many adults?