News broke recently that 350 illegal immigrant children have been received in South Carolina. These children have come to live with relatives and other sponsors while they wait for their day in immigration court (this is a process that can take many months). The fact that these children have been sent to South Carolina homes is not too shocking but what is troubling in this case is the lack of communication between the feds, responsible for these transfers, and state governors. Governor Haley has said federal officials have yet to offer any details about these children. The Governor does not know their ages or where in the state they have been sent
Our state is not the only one receiving immigrant children; several others have also reported new arrivals. One detail that is common across each of these cases is that President Obama’s self-proclaimed “most transparent government in history” refuses to answer any questions governors have. At this point, however, we should not be surprised. This notion of transparency from the campaign speeches preceding Obama’s first election was not taken seriously for long.
The crisis at the border is one of the most significant of the last few years; many have called it our nation’s greatest national security interest. Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied children have crossed illegally into the US at the border with Mexico. So why are they coming in such great numbers? The families of these children are desperate to escape environments of high crime, gangs, and extreme poverty in their nations of origin, primarily Honduras, El Salvador, and Guatemala. Citizens of these nations have heard rumors that US immigration policies changed to mean that any child successfully crossing the border would be allowed to stay. Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson says this is a myth. According to the Secretary, any child arriving after 2007 is not eligible for deferred deportation or some path to citizenship. “There are no ‘permisos,’ ‘permits,’ or free passes at the end,” Johnson said.
The government cannot simply send these illegal children back due to the way immigration policy is set up. When these children arrive, they surrender themselves to Border Patrol agents and then custody is transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services (we have seen how effective this department is in handling large scale operations, remember ObamaCare?) within 72 hours. HHS puts the women and children in temporary shelters or lets them go with orders to return for a court date. Particularly the latter, I think you will agree, sounds rather irresponsible. For those that do follow orders and return, immigration court can be an incredibly lengthy process.
So how do we fix the problem? The President and his supporters continue to speak the talking points of “comprehensive immigration reform.” Some want amnesty, and others want open borders. Frankly, our nation is not prepared for either of these options. Our public schools are already underperforming and an influx of children who do not speak English would be detrimental to the system. Additionally, this crisis has Border Patrol agents working as government-funded babysitters rather than protecting the US-Mexico border. In Texas, Governor Rick Perry has decided to commit 1,000 National Guard troops to the border to assist Border Patrol, costing the state and estimated $12 million each month of deployment. Step one is securing the border. Period.
The sad truth here is that the border crisis is proving, yet again, the incompetence of Barack Obama in the White House. The President was in Texas a few weeks ago to attend a couple of fundraisers. He refused to visit the border. Gov. Perry was able to talk him into a meeting, but the Governor has since said that he does not expect much action from Washington. President Obama is determined not to lose the Democratic majority in the Senate this November, so we can anticipate more of the same…a little less action and a lot more fundraising. Great job, Mr. President.