The illegal-alien juggernaut at the southwest border of the United States pushed nearly 110,000 Central Americans into the United States in April. The total for fiscal 2019 thus far now exceeds all of fiscal 2018.
But at least some illegals have received the strong message that they aren’t welcome here. And so they want to leave, or at least plan to leave. Illegal aliens, the Marshall Project reports, are applying in record numbers for “voluntary departure,” which means they are self-deporting.
In fiscal 2018, almost 30,000 border jumpers said they’re ready to pack up and head back home where they belong.
Voluntary departure, according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, permits aliens to leave the country officially without being deported. A deportation prohibits an illegal from returning to the country for five if not 10 years. Voluntary departure avoids that penalty, although “failure to depart within the time granted results in a fine and a ten-year bar to several forms of relief from deportation,” the agency’s website says.
“The number of immigrants who have applied for voluntary departure has soared since the election of Donald Trump,” the Marshall Project reported. Data it compiled from the Justice Department show that applications in fiscal 2018 doubled from the year before, “rising much faster than the 17 percent increase in overall immigration cases.”
Voluntary departure applications were 29,818, the Project noted, and they increased 50 percent in 2017. The peak month for applications was October, with 4,192.
The Marshall Project deduced that the increase demonstrates that the “Trump administration’s crackdown on immigration is having an impact: More people are considering leaving the U.S., rather than being stuck in detention or taking on a lengthy legal battle with little hope of success.”
Several factors are probably responsible for the surge in the number of applications for voluntary departure, experts say. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has increasingly gone after immigrants who have no criminal backgrounds — those who are more likely to qualify for voluntary departure. Because of the growing backlog of immigration cases, judges and Department of Homeland Security attorneys may feel pressured to resolve cases quickly and offer voluntary departure instead of dragging out multiple appeals.”
The backlog of cases is immense, as The New American reported in November, and likely won’t get better given the deluge at the border now, but at least the fear of detention and being forced to obey American law has encouraged some illegals to wise up and go home — or at least ask an immigration judge for papers so they won’t have a deportation on record.
A Mexican woman told the Marshall Project why women in her facility want to pack up and leave: “They’re tired of living in here, of dealing with ICE, dealing with guards.... They give up.”
That’s a good thing, but voluntary departures won’t resolve the crisis at the border or what taxpayers face with the illegals who stay. As well, even if all the nearly 30,000 applications end in the departure of an illegal alien, the taxpayers are left with illegals who cross the border every month, a figure that topped 100,000 in March and April.
Hard-core Criminals Won’t Voluntarily Depart
Something of an irony about the illegals who voluntary depart is that they have, at last, acknowledged the law, even if stubbornly, and at last, unwillingly.
Others won’t, as an arrest at Nogales, Arizona, on Monday well showed.
An illegal Honduran showed up at the Dennis Deconcini crossing and asked for asylum, Customs and Border Protection reported. Border agents quickly discovered that one Alex Josue Mendez-Maldonado is a rape suspect in New Orleans, Louisiana, with a “full outstanding warrant.” And he “had previous arrests in Wisconsin for trespassing, and Louisiana for resisting an officer, simple battery,” and other “disturbing” charges that CBP did not reveal.
The agency did not reveal whether Mendez-Maldonado was deported or simply fled the country. But he did try to re-enter illegally with an obviously bogus asylum claim.
Border agents spend a significant amount of time apprehending previously deported sex predators, who are a major problem at the border. As The New American reported today, agents collared four of them recently, which means they wind through the court system yet again at significant expense to the American taxpayer.
That said, as good as the news on voluntary departure sounds, the number of illegals who jump the border every day far outpaces the number who apply to leave.
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