Illegal Immigrant Surge: Unexpected — or Planned?

By:  Warren Mass
Illegal Immigrant Surge: Unexpected — or Planned?

As our nation struggles to deal with an almost uncontrollable surge of illegal immigrants crossing our southern border, many in government seek to place the blame for the crisis on their political opponents.

But some who have studied the worsening situation have concluded that the crisis is neither accidental nor unavoidable, but the result of a planned political agenda.

The Obama administration undoubtedly bears much of the responsibility for uncontrolled immigration due to its inability or unwillingness to secure our borders, and weak enforcement that amounts to defacto amnesty for those who make it across them. More than one Republican member of Congress has called the administration to task for its non-enforcement of immigration laws. For example, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said in a statement about the crisis posted on his Senate webpage on June 3:

The rising crisis at the border is the direct and predictable result of actions taken by President Obama. He and his Administration have announced to the world that they will not enforce America’s immigration laws, and have emphasized in particular that foreign youth will be exempted from these laws. 

However, Obama administration officials deny that their lenient policies, including a 2012 program that allowed immigrants who had entered the country illegally as minors before June 2007 to apply for deportation “deferrals” (usually meaning “cancellations”) have encouraged the recent flood of illegal immigration by unaccompanied minors.

The administration instead blames the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which was signed into law by President George W. Bush. That law made it nearly impossible to deport unaccompanied minors to Central America without first letting them appear before an immigration judge. Because of the current backlog, the wait for such court appearances can be very lengthy, during which time the immigrant minors are released from custody. 

The Wilberforce Act (S. 3061) was geared to combat the trafficking of minors. The law was designed, its proponents asserted, to prevent victims of child trafficking from being automatically sent back to those who had effectively enslaved them, with the court appearance designed to allow the judge to evaluate their particular situation. The law’s contribution to the present crisis, though undeniable, is most likely an unanticipated consequence.

While President Bush did sign the measure, it was a bipartisan effort, and was originally written partially by Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) and introduced in the Senate by then-senator, now vice president, Joe Biden.

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Photo of illegal immigrant children: AP Images

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