Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Orphan DREAMing

There’s a humanitarian crisis on the border with Mexico. Thousands of parentless children are pouring into Texas from Mexico.

Many of the young illegal immigrants are smuggled into the U.S. from Central America. Honduras and Guatemala are among the worst governed countries in the world, with skyrocketing inflation, a brutal crime rate, and gangs running many cities. The rate of violence in Honduras is the worst in the world, with the streets of Honduras more dangerous than Afghanistan or even Syria.

This overstates the case against Honduras, from which I returned on a mission trip last week. Twenty people are murdered in Honduras, a country of 8 million people, every day, well short of the 100,000-plus casualties in the Syrian civil war in the last 3 years. Calling Syrian violence “war” doesn’t make it safer than Honduras.

From the reporting, it’s more dangerous getting smuggled out of Honduras than staying:

Many of the young illegals report horrific abuse at the hands of immigrant smugglers, including being raped, being physically assaulted, and being force to perform slave labor to ‘pay off’ the costs of their transportation. Hiring a smuggler to take a 13 year old from Honduras to the United States is said to cost $9,000, or far more than the average Honduran family makes in a year.

What’s becoming of these children? Please tell me they’re being sent back to their families. Please tell me we’re not in the business of orphaning impoverished children.

Apparently we are, as Rand Paul is saying “we gotta get past deportation.” So for good or for ill—mostly ill—they’re here to stay. Democrats want voters, Republicans want cheap labor, and doofuses like Paul just want to look good.

Liberals advocate amnestying DREAMers, people who entered the United States illegally before they were 16 and have been living illegally in the United States for 5 years. As for potential DREAMers who have been in the country less than 5 years, they just need to run out the clock while the president and the Homeland Security Secretary sit on their hands in the name of “discretion.”

Analysts say some illegals are actively ‘gaming’ the system, being given false hope by smugglers of some sort of blanket amnesty for children if they can make it into the U.S. Some children are told, falsely, that after that ‘amnesty’ is granted, they will be able to bring their families into the U.S. as well.

One young Honduran told Reuters that she didn’t think that entering the United States was illegal.

“Everybody in my home town was doing it,” she said.

Desperate parents in the third world send their children here because they can. Illegal immigrants know they can get across the border en masse and the bureaucracy would rather provide for them than deport them. The states can’t very well solve the problem. Remember in 2012 the Roberts Court forbade states the right to enforce laws the federal government refused to enforce.

Savvy campers understand you don’t leave food out that will attract bears and skunks. We need a similar approach to what draws illegal immigrants across our border. We need a federal screening system to prohibit illegal immigrants’ access to the welfare state, like California’s Proposition 187. Coyotes and their wards need to be turned around at the border, which requires a commitment to border enforcement—strictly speaking, a robust fence and men with guns to patrol it.

Further reading: “Woman speaks out about conditions at temporary immigration camp at Lackland.”

UPDATE (6/13): A cursory review of the murder rates in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras reveals nothing out of the ordinary about the crime wave in Central America. The murder rate in Guatemala is one-third of what it was in the mid-’90s. “Evading violent crime” is a fig leaf to cover the lack of will to deport.

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