Immigration

Having triumphed at gun-running, the Administration tries its hand at human trafficking

Having triumphed at gun-running, the Administration tries its hand at human trafficking

Fox News reports the latest news from the immigration front, in which efforts to illegally smuggle the children of illegal aliens across the border get a little help from Uncle Sam:

In a letter obtained by FoxNews.com, Sen. David Vitter, R-La., asked newly confirmed Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson a string of questions about the apparent policy. The practice came to light last month after a federal judge in Texas claimed immigration agents were intercepting human smugglers transporting children at the U.S.-Mexico border — and then delivering those children to illegal immigrant parents in the U.S.

“I am shocked to learn that the federal government is a participant in an international human smuggling conspiracy,” Vitter wrote. “I cannot imagine a case in which such a policy would be in accordance with the established mission of the Department, particularly since this encourages additional smuggling and the sometimes extreme abuse of the smuggled children involved.”

Vitter went on to say he was “particularly surprised that a federal agency would assist an international criminal conspiracy after the disastrous Operation Fast & Furious directly resulted in the heinous murder of CBP Agent Brian Terry in December 2010.”

Zing!  Personally, I find myself the opposite of surprised.  This is all about the weird pseduo-legal status of U.S. immigration law, which the government (including a fair number of Republicans, and going back to long before Barack Obama arrived in the White House) regards as more like a series of “suggestions” and “guidelines” than actual laws.  In fact, it would be fair to characterize border security as a game.  If you can get past the Border Patrol, you win.  There is enormous political pressure within the United States to ratify this victory by refusing to recognize the violation of immigration law as a “crime” in any sense.  You’re not even supposed to refer to violators as “illegal” or “aliens” any more, even though they are most definitely both of those things.

With this in mind, it’s not stunning to learn that after coyote smugglers lose their little game with the Border Patrol, their young human cargo would be delivered to its ultimate destination by the U.S. government.  I’m not sure how they’re doing it, since illegal aliens supposedly “live in the shadows,” and are impossible to find when the subject turns to enforcement of our immigration laws.

The judge in question, U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, was not amused to find the federal government effectively aiding and abetting a criminal conspiracy.  In the case at hand, an illegal immigrant living in Virginia paid $8,500 to have a criminal gang smuggle in her child from El Salvador, as related by the Daily Caller:

“Despite this setback [the child's detention at the border], the goal of the conspiracy was completed thanks to the actions of the United States Government,” Hanen wrote. “This Court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security (hereinafter ‘DHS’) of completing the criminal mission of individuals who are violating the border security of the United States.”

Hanen further noted that this was “the fourth case with the same factual situation this court has had in as many weeks.”

The president of the union representing Immigration and Customs Enforcement officers and staff, Chris Crane, later told The Daily Caller that this happens “every day.”

Senator Vitter worries that making it easier for these children to get across the border would only inspire more efforts to smuggle them in, since it’s basically a can’t-lose proposition.  That sort of common sense is extremely unwelcome in the immigration debate, where we are strictly forbidden to discuss the benefits of deterrence, or the problems caused by a lack thereof.  Also, the human smugglers have ties to the drug cartels, who really don’t need any further assistance from the U.S. government.

For anyone keeping score, Vitter also notes that assisting a human trafficking operation is a violation of United Nations protocol, to which the United States was a signatory.

Fox News thinks the judge may have underestimated the complexity of the operation:

While Hanen focused on the Department of Homeland Security, officials say minors are typically handed over to the Office of Refugee Resettlement, within the Department of Health and Human Services.

Thousands of illegal immigrant children and teens are caught trying to enter the United States, and often sent to federally-run care centers while their status is determined.

Naturally, defenders of the practice are concerned about the welfare of the children involved, which is understandable.  But who’s putting the kids in danger in the first place?  Aren’t more of them going to be subjected to dangerous conditions, if the process is guaranteed to succeed, one way or the other?

The Administration argues that its delivery service is “legal and appropriate.”  It’s almost funny that anyone spends a moment arguing about what is “legal” pertaining to immigration, because it’s not a set of laws anymore… not in any sense that Americans groaning under the weight of our control-freak super-State would recognize.  This government couldn’t even be bothered to require Social Security Numbers for identification from people applying for child tax credits, because it would “unfairly” deny illegal aliens access to the taxpayer-funded gravy train – not even when the savings from such a common-sense security measure were going to finance the restoration of pensions for military veterans.  They’re sure as heck not going to quibble about the cost, or ethics, of delivering illegal children to their illegal parents.

On the day American citizenship enjoys no further protection from law enforcement agencies, it will become entirely meaningless.  It only receives sporadic, half-hearted protection now.  What does that tell you about its value?

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