“The Department of Homeland Security, instead of enforcing our border security laws, actually assisted the criminal conspiracy [of child-smuggling] in achieving its illegal goals,” writes a federal judge in a court order.
U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen in Brownsville, Texas, issued the order in December. It explains and condemns how today’s crisis was created by President Barack Obama’s laxity and refusal to enforce our immigration laws. An estimated 10,000 unaccompanied children are being apprehended each month as they are smuggled into the U.S. yet permitted to stay. Military bases and facilities in Texas, Arizona and California are overflowing, so another 600 are being transferred to Fort Sill, Okla.
Since most border violators are not caught, the actual numbers arriving presumably are far larger.
Few children can make the 1,650-mile trip from Central America to Texas on their own, so these children are mostly being transported by smugglers. The human-traffickers blatantly advertise that President Obama’s policies virtually guarantee success: Even if caught, the child will be delivered to the family, courtesy of U.S. authorities.
Paying the smugglers thousands of dollars per child are their parents and family — illegal aliens already in America who send for their children under the belief that amnesty is coming and they will benefit from it. U.S. taxpayers get the rest of the tab. Under Obama’s policy we pay $2 billion to complete the process of delivering illegally-arrived children to their illegally-here family. Nobody gets deported. Nobody gets charged with the crime of paying to smuggle people into the country.
What’s the going rate for smuggling a child from Central America to the U.S.? In the case recited by Judge Hanen, smuggling a 9-year-old girl from El Salvador to Virginia was to cost $8,500, with $6,000 paid in advance. When the human-trafficker was caught, federal officials became aware that the girl’s mother, Salmeron Santos, admitted living illegally in the U.S. and admitted illegally hiring the smugglers. “Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivered the child to her — thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deporation proceedings for her,” the judge wrote.
The irony is that the White House claims the children are fleeing the dangers of organized crime in Central America — the very organized crime being trusted and paid to transport them to the U.S. Like it does in other matters, the White House tells a cover story to conceal the guilt of President Obama and his team. Audaciously, Obama denounces the situation as a “humanitarian crisis” as though he were not a perpetrator in creating it.
But as Judge Hanen’s order states: “Time and again this court has been told by representatives of the government and the defense that cartels control the entire smuggling process … the government is not only allowing [those paying the child-smugglers] to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so.”
“The DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation. Legally, this situation is no different,” he wrote.
Years of accumulated non-enforcement by the Obama administration have reached their tipping point. “The federal government prepared for this trend,” an official said, “but it was larger than we had anticipated.”
Judge Hanen described that the pattern is the same in other cases: “In each case, the DHS completed the criminal conspiracy, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, by delivering the minors to the custody of the parent illegally living in the United States.”
According to the judge, the government tried to claim it was following the requirements of a 1997 class-action immigration settlement in Flores v. Janet Reno. But he says that agreement expired years ago, and even were it still in force, it would not prevent the arrest and deportation of those who pay smugglers to bring children into America.
“The DHS is rewarding criminal conduct instead of enforcing the current laws,” the judge concluded. He found four clear and present dangers which this causes:
- “These illegal activities help fund the illegal drug cartels which are a very real danger for both citizens of this country and Mexico … [involving] murder, kidnapping, assault, drug trafficking, weapon smuggling, and money laundering. However, by far the most vile crime in which these organizations and other criminals are engaged is the exploitation and trafficking of children.”
- “The DHS‘ current policy undermines the deterrent effect the laws may have and inspires others to commit further violations.”
- “This policy is encouraging individuals to turn their children over to complete strangers — strangers about whom only one thing is truly known: they are criminals.”
- “This policy lowers the morale of those law enforcement agents on the front line here on the border.”
The judge does not roll over at claims that “family reunification” trumps all else: “The decision to separate Salmeron Santos from [her daughter] was made years ago, and it was made by Salmeron Santos. She purposefully chose this course of action.”