It's common knowledge that some of the illegal immigrant children who have come over the Texas border have been placed in foster homes, in Texas and other states. But many Americans might be surprised to learn that some of these "children" are 22 years old.
"Most of our children are 15 to 17 years old," a spokeswoman for Texas Catholic Charities told Breitbart.com. "But some stay in our program until they are 22 years old. If they're still working on getting their high school diploma, they can stay until they're that age."
The spokeswoman mentioned that foster families are given $40 per day to care for each immigrant they take in from Catholic Charities, with the federal government as the funding source. A foster family willing to take on the work and responsibility of caring for the maximum six children at one time can receive more than $7,400 a month. The immigrants in their care, meanwhile, receive taxpayer-subsidized education, health care, transportation, and an "allowance," the Catholic charities spokeswoman said. She did not mention the amount of the allowance or how often it is given.
More than 50,000 unaccompanied children, adolescents and young adults, mostly from Central America, have arrived at the Texas border over the past several months, and federal officials are predicting the number may reach 90,000 for the year. Many are said to be fleeing gang violence, rape, and human trafficking in Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador. Some have been placed with relatives in the United States, whether or not the relatives are here legally or are among the estimated 11 million or more illegal aliens. Many of the young immigrants are still being housed at military bases and other federal facilities.
President Obama has asked Congress for $3.7 billion for food and housing for the immigrants, along with beefed up border enforcement. A Senate bill for $2.7 billion and a $169-million House proposal both fall well short of the president's request. All three plans include some funding to increase the number of judges and lawyers for the deportation hearings. Given the backlog, cases will stay on the docket for months or possibly years. Many of the immigrants have failed to show up for their hearings, meaning they most likely will continue to live here illegally unless they are apprehended at a later date.
Senator Ted Cruz (R-Texas) and other Republicans have argued that a direct cause of the latest surge of young illegal immigrants was the president's announcement in June of 2012 that he had instructed the Justice Department and Homeland Security to cease enforcement efforts against young illegals who had been brought here as children, provided they had no criminal record, were in school, had graduated from high school, or had served in the military. They also became eligible to apply for work permits. "The "direct foreseeable consequence of that," said Cruz, has been a dramatic rise in the number of unaccompanied children apprehended at the border from approximately 6,000 in 2011 to an estimated 90,000 this year.
With Congress due to begin a five-week recess on Friday, Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) has called for congressional action this week to pass legislation that would bar further "unilateral, imperial action" by the president on immigration and prevent any more work permits for illegal immigrants, "thereby protecting American workers."
"So I am calling on the American people to ask their representatives: where do you stand, Senator? Where do you stand on this, Congressman?" Sessions said in a fiery speech on the Senate floor Monday. Capitol phone lines were jammed, Breitbart reported the next day, after the grassroots group Tea Party Patriots had posted on its Facebook page: "Call Congress NOW, and tell your Representative not to give Obama a dime to solve his border failures until Congress stops funding Obama's executive amnesty!"
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