In a flawed Sunday morning report on the wave of "Unaccompanied Alien Children" — that's the Department of Homeland Security's term — illegally crossing the nation's southern border, the Associated Press's Alicia Caldwell passively noted that the influx "is widely perceived as becoming a humanitarian crisis." Then, in her very next sentence, she wrote that "The system is now so overwhelmed that children are being housed in Border Patrol facilities ill-equipped to handle them." Is that statement a real or "perceived" fact, Alicia?
The AP reporter, supposedly revealing the results of a wire service "investigation," blamed the situation on "an overburdened, deeply flawed system of immigration courts and a 2002 law intended to protect children's welfare." Amazingly — well, it would be amazing if this wasn't the Administration's Press — this clueless collection of Inspector Clouseaus assigned no blame to the most obvious culprit, namely President Barack Obama's unilaterally imposed and widely reported (including by Caldwell herself) "Deferred Action for Child Arrivals" (DACA) policy in 2012. Two weeks ago, the administraion extended DACA.
Steve Berman at RedState correctly characterizes DACA as "a hall-pass ... for anyone illegally in the country who was under 16 and here before June 15, 1997, or anyone who gets in and is under 16." Already, "more than 560,000 illegal immigrants have been shielded from deportation via the DACA program." The amnesty advocates at the American Immigration Council estimate that there are "1.15 million potential DACA applicants who have not yet filed an initial application."
The follow excerpts from Caldwell's calamity at least contain an important truth (bolded text relates to this point) about the government's ability to compel these children to return their native land — i.e., it basically can't:
FEW IMMEDIATE CONSEQUENCES FOR CHILD IMMIGRANTS
Thousands of immigrant children fleeing poverty and violence in Central America to cross alone into the United States can live in American cities, attend public schools and possibly work here for years without consequences.
The chief reasons are an overburdened, deeply flawed system of immigration courts and a 2002 law intended to protect children's welfare, an Associated Press investigation finds.
Driving the dramatic increases in these immigrants is the recognition throughout Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador that children who make the dangerous trip can effectively remain in the U.S. for years before facing even a moderate risk of deportation.
The Obama administration estimates it will catch 90,000 children trying to illegally cross the Mexican border without their parents by the end of the current budget year in September. Last year, the government returned fewer than 2,000 children to their native countries.
The administration has asked Congress for $2 billion to spend on the issue.
"They almost never go home," said Gary Mead, who until last year was director of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office responsible for finding and removing immigrants living in the country. "It's not a process that ultimately ends in easy resolutions or clear-cut resolutions."
The situation is widely perceived as becoming a humanitarian crisis at the border. The system is now so overwhelmed that children are being housed in Border Patrol facilities ill-equipped to handle them..
... Only recently have officials acknowledged that perceptions that these children may be allowed to stay or that Congress soon may relax U.S. immigration laws - which is highly unlikely - may also be responsible.
The AP's investigation, based on interviews, court records and federal data, found that such perceptions are understandable because of America's broken system.
The AP's Caldwell failed to even recognize DACA's existence and relevance — which is odd, given that she and colleague Jim Kuhnhenn joyfully reported the policy's original creation in 2012:
President Barack Obama suddenly eased enforcement of the nation's immigration laws Friday, an extraordinary step offering a chance for hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants to stay in the country and work. Embraced by Hispanics, his action touched off an election-year confrontation with many Republicans.
To the argument that DACA only affects children who were in the U.S. on June 15, 2012 or earlier, the existence of these "mini-amnesties" by fiat has fueled the perception that the big cahuna mass amnesty is coming — and even if it doesn't, DHS and ICE will take so long in getting around to individual cases that anyone who gets here will have little need to be concerned about deportation. As Michelle Malkin asserted on June 10, "The latest 'crisis' is a wholly manufactured byproduct of White House administrative amnesties, which are supported by a toxic alliance of ethnic vote-seeking Democrats and cheap-labor-hungry Big Business Republicans."
RedState's Sherman believes that "Shamefully, Obama is using these children as pawns to implement his goal of universal citizenship for illegal immigrants." Sadly, there's little reason to doubt him.
No wonder Caldwell ignored DACA, which is Exhibit A supporting Sherman's contention.
Cross-posted at BizzyBlog.com.