Stu Harris, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) Local 1929 in El Paso, Texas, said that the continually worsening crisis along the U.S.-Mexican border is the result of the U.S. government granting “de facto amnesty" to illegal immigrants.
The NBPC is the union that represents more than 17,000 Border Patrol agents and support staff. The NBPC Executive Committee is staffed by current and retired Border Patrol agents.
Speaking with Breitbart Texas (the section of Breitbart.com dedicated to covering Texas news), Harris provided his take on the vast increase in illegal cross-border traffic: “This situation is de facto amnesty. The word has gotten out that we will simply release people into the US if enough of them come at once. The result is that they are doing it.”
Harris also criticized the way the media has covered the illegal immigration crisis:
A lot of the media is saying these people are coming because of economic crisis and violence in their home countries, but these conditions have existed for more than a decade. The only thing that has changed is the talk of immigration reform and amnesty. That is what is bringing these people here now.
Another statement Harris made concurred with a June report from KRGV News in the Rio Grande Valley of Texas we cited recently about a woman named Nora Griselda Bercian Diaz, a woman from Guatemala who had crossed the border illegally with her six-year-old daughter. Bercian Diaz told KRGV that people back in Guatemala told her: “Go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.”
Bercian Diaz told the news crew that when the reporters encountered her, she and her daughter were lost and searching for Border Patrol agents!
Harris noted this strange phenomenon when he told Breitbart:
Our guys risk their lives. The people who are turning themselves in now, are people who would have tried to avoid us and would have been running away from us when they crossed illegally.
Now these same people want to find border patrol agents and turn themselves in. That really says something….
They know they can come here and they will get released into the United States. That is all that has changed. That is why they are coming here now in such large numbers.
Exactly how large are the “large numbers” that Harris referred to? A Reuters article on May 29 cited Obama administration estimates that 60,000 children unaccompanied by parents or relatives will pour into the United States this year, up from about 6,000 in 2011. While no one knows how many adults come across the border illegally, in 2011, the Border Patrol apprehended a total of 129,118 illegal immigrants. Given the recent flood, current figures are undoubtedly much higher.
A major initial destination for illegal immigrants — both adults and children — is Texas. Yet instead of detaining these illegal aliens and deporting them to their country of origin, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) — an agency within DHS — has been shipping some of them to other states. A Reuters news report on June 9 noted that nearly 1,000 unaccompanied minors had been sent from overflowing facilities in southern Texas to a warehouse building in Nogales, Arizona.
Unaccompanied children are not placed in detention. They are, instead, transferred to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement to be housed in shelters, including those on military bases and elsewhere, with the objective of reuniting them with parents or guardians. However, if their parents are here illegally and hiding from authorities, that may be a nearly impossible task.
With present detention facilities bursting at the seams, the Obama administration plans to establish additional quarters to house unaccompanied children who have migrated illegally into the United States at Fort Sill, Oklahoma. The Fort Sill housing facilities will supplement similar quarters the Obama administration has opened at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas, and Naval Base Ventura County near Oxnard, California.
Forced to respond to the crisis, the White House on June 2 issued a presidential memorandum directing the secretary of Homeland Security to establish an interagency “Unified Coordination Group,” stated President Obama, in “response to the influx of unaccompanied alien children across the southwest border.”
However, the illegal immigrants, including children, are simply responding to the Obama administration policy of not securing the border and then granting effective amnesty to the migrants by housing them instead of deporting them.
Senator Jeff Sessions, (R-Ala) posted a statement about the crisis on his Senate webpage on June 3, which read, in part:
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. The world has heard the President’s call, and illegal immigrants are pouring across the border in pursuit of his promised amnesty.
When appearing as a guest on The Kelly File on June 9, former New Jersey Superior Court Judge Andrew Napolitano also placed the blame squarely on Obama for not enforcing present immigration law: “The president of the United States personally and directly caused this with a telephone and a pen.”
Both the Obama administration and the bipartisan Senate “Gang of Eight” have attempted to get “immigration reform” legislation passed by Congress. However, the massive flow of illegal immigrants over our borders indicates that the answer is not “immigration reform,” but immigration enforcement.
And failing to win passage of legislation that offers amnesty to illegal immigrants, the administration is offering it anyway. Otherwise, why would illegal immigrants seek out Border Patrol agents instead of hiding from them?