Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera, the vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 in the Rio Grande Valley, told Fox News on August 6 that the federal government is allowing murderers from Central America to be released into the United States.
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.
In cases where teenage aliens have violent backgrounds, they are free to continue their criminal behavior here.
“Our agents aren’t allowed to do the job they were hired to do,” Cabrera told Fox News. “We’re walking more and more people out the door … they’re catch-and-release that have family units. The criminal aliens that are coming in, some of these young gang member kids that are coming in, and there’s no criminal history in the United States, we’re releasing them out the door and more and more it gets frustrating.”
This was not the first time that Cabrera has sounded off publicly about the way our federal government is mishandling the illegal immigration crisis. In June, he told National Review that Border Patrol agents have reunited identified gang members with their families in the United States. He said a Border Patrol officer had recently told him about a known teen member of the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13) transnational gang whom he was powerless to stop entering the country.
“I’ve heard people come in and say, ‘You’re going to let me go, just like you let my mother go, just like you let my sister go. You’re going to let me go as well, and the government’s going to take care of us,’” Cabrera said. “Until we start mandatory detentions, mandatory removals, I don’t think anything is going to change. As a matter of fact, I think it’s going to get worse.”
Art Del Cueto, president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 2544 in Tucson, Arizona, complained in June about the Border Patrol’s policies in a statement also quoted by National Review: “It’s upsetting that a lot of [the gang members] are 16 or 17 years old and a lot of them are not going to face deportation.”
While the influx of unaccompanied minors has often been described as a “humanitarian crisis,” which is not inaccurate when applied to younger children, 16- and 17-year-old gang members who have become hardened by gang life on the streets of Tegucigalpa or Guatemala City are “children” in name only. To invite these violent young criminals to become residents of the United States as a gesture of “humanitarianism” is a naïve exercise, at best.
During the heyday of legal immigration to the United States, about two percent of immigrants being processed at Ellis Island and other immigration stations were denied admission and sent back to their countries of origin for reasons such as having a chronic contagious disease, a criminal background, or insanity.
It seems that simple common sense would dictate that today’s (illegal) immigrants would also be screened for such factors, but from all reports, our borders are being overrun and there is no orderly process in place to control the invasion.