The huge surge of illegal aliens that crossed the southern U.S. border last spring and early summer and then went into temporary decline is showing signs of being on the rise once more.
Speaking to Breitbart Texas, agent Chris Cabrera, a spokesperson for the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC) — the organization that represents nearly 17,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents — said that in the past few weeks, the numbers of unaccompanied minors and incomplete family units have been rapidly increasing. “This is starting to resemble the summer border surge of 2014,” Cabrera told Breitbart. “We are not nearly at the numbers we were last year, but it looks like we are in the opening stages. We had two groups equal a little over 70 in one hour today. These were women and children,” Cabrera continued. “We’ve also seen a lot of children traveling alone.”
Cabrera also observed a phenomenon that we reported on during last year’s surge. Instead of hiding from Border Patrol agents to sneak into the country, as illegal aliens have traditionally done, many of the children and women who have crossed the border illegally have been seeking out Border Patrol agents and turning themselves in. “This is really the mark that indicates a coming crisis,” said Cabrera. “When the women and children start seeking out agents, we know there is word spreading in their home countries that they can come and be set free.”
This unprecedented behavior on the part of illegal border crossers stems from several factors, including the change in where many of them come from, as well as our government’s policy changes. We reported last summer that two things distinguished this wave from earlier illegal immigration onslaughts. First, Hondurans, Salvadorans, and Guatemalans made up about 75 percent of illegals caught in South Texas last year, whereas previously most people who crossed the border illegally originated in Mexico. Second, large numbers of these illegal migrants are unaccompanied children.
The Washington Post reported a year ago that the sharp increase in the number of illegal migrants coming over the border during the prior three months — especially the number of children traveling without their parents — had overwhelmed the Border Patrol’s detention centers in South Texas. “We’re fighting a losing battle right now,” the Post quoted Cabrera as saying at the time. “We don’t have anywhere to hold them.”
However, the problem was caused not so much by a failure to secure the border as a failure to process and deport those who have entered our country illegally. Knowing that they would not be immediately deported, many of the migrants — especially women and children — did not even try to sneak into the country but crossed the border in plain sight of Border Patrol agents. They are apparently doing so again this year.
While illegal immigrants from Mexico can fairly quickly be processed and sent back across the border, the situation for illegals from Central America is more complicated. The government must first clear their return with consular officials from their native country, and then charter planes to fly them home. If the immigrants request asylum in the United States, on the grounds that they fear persecution in their home countries, they must establish that their fears are credible.
Whether or not asylum is ultimately granted, the claim serves as a delaying tactic, often allowing the person to remain in the United States long enough to blend in among the large numbers of “undocumented aliens.”
Another factor that started with the 2014 surge was the large number of unaccompanied children (UACs) who came here without their families. Most of these were not deported immediately back to their country of origin because the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 — enacted to prevent victims of child trafficking from being automatically sent back to those who had effectively enslaved them — required that children entering our country illegally be granted a court appearance to allow a judge to evaluate their particular situation.
However, the massive increase in the numbers of such UACs clogged the immigration courts, and many hearings were postponed for years. In the meantime, pending the hearings, the children were housed in camps and eventually resettled in sponsor homes around the country.
We reported last September that though the number of unaccompanied youths illegally entering our country had declined since the peak months, Carl Meacham, the director of the Americas Program of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS), predicted that the decline “won’t last long.”
With Cabrera’s latest disclosure, it appears that Meacham’s prediction was correct.
Another NBPC spokesman, the organization’s vice president Shawn Moran, confirmed the problem at our borders during a recent interview with The Laura Ingraham Show. “Stories about the border surge decreasing is an outright lie; to say the border is more secure is false,” said Moran. “This administration is not securing the border and numbers are still very high.”
Photo of illegal immigrant protest: Jonathan McIntosh