Cabrera stated that among the illegal “children” are teenage gang members who are being released to family members in America. He told Fox News,
If they have family in the United States, [Customs and Border Protection Officers will] release them to the family, even if they’re admitted gang members,” Cabrera said to Fox News. “We’ve had a couple that had admitted to murders in their home country. They were 17 years old, 16 years old, and the United States government thought it fit to release them to their parents here in the United States.
Even if he’s a confirmed gang member, a confirmed criminal even by self-admission, we for some reason don’t send them back to their home country; we release them into our country.
Cabrera offered his explanation about why these youthful gang members and criminals are being released into our general population:
They found a loophole with the unaccompanied women and children. We don’t have anywhere to house these women and children and if the child has no family back in his home country, or claims he has no family back in his home country, we have to release him to a parent who is here.
The “loophole” that Cabrera referred to was created with the passage of the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, signed into law by George W. Bush. Enacted to prevent victims of child trafficking from being automatically sent back to those who had effectively enslaved them, the law requires that children entering our country illegally be granted a court appearance to allow a judge to evaluate their particular situation. However, the authors of the act did not anticipate the massive increase in the numbers of such unaccompanied minors, which has clogged the immigration courts to the point of eliminating their effectiveness. Some immigration courts have a backlog of three to five years. While awaiting their hearing, the children and teens are transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to be housed in shelters or placed with relatives or other sponsors.
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