MARCH 13, 2013
Word of the Obama administration releasing “waves” of illegal immigrants from detention centers around the U.S. spread throughout Mexico, leading to an influx of migrants turning themselves in to Border Patrol with the expectation that they too would be let go.
The illegal border crossers are surrendering in large numbers after a treacherous journey across the Rio Grande because they’re convinced federal authorities will release them, according to a seasoned Border Patrol agent quoted in a Texas newspaper. In the days following the administration’s controversial release program, many of the illegal immigrants detained by Border Patrol at the McAllen crossing station in Texas inquired about being let go, according to an agency spokesman quoted in the story.
Evidently, the Mexican border crossers heard that the Obama administration was freeing detainees and they expected similar treatment. “These are people that are just voluntarily turning themselves in to our agents with the expectation they’ll be released,” said a veteran agent, Paul Perez, who is president McAllen’s local Border Patrol union. “When you cross with the expectation that you’ll be released, there’s no need to hide, there’s no need to run. You just look for a uniformed agent and turn yourself in.”
In February, the month Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) began releasing illegal aliens from detention centers around the U.S., the number of migrants arrested along the southern border skyrocketed to nearly 5,000, according to agency data. Homeland Security officials refuse to speculate on what caused the spike, but it’s pretty obvious that Obama’s release program had something to do with it.
The president blamed impending budget cuts to justify freeing “waves” of illegal immigrants from facilities in Texas, Florida and Louisiana. In a statement to the media, ICE offered the following explanation: “In order to make the best use of our limited detention resources in the current fiscal climate and to manage our detention population under current congressionally mandated levels, ICE has directed field offices to review the detained population to ensure it is in line with available funding. As a result of this review, a number of detained aliens have been released around the country and placed on an appropriate, more cost-effective form of supervised release.”
Once the secret liberation initiative hit the news, the word clearly spread like wildfire south of the border. In fact, the world’s largest Spanish-language network—extremely popular throughout Latin America— interviewed one of the freed illegal immigrants, a man named Manuel who expressed shock that he was let go from Polk Detention Center in Texas. In the segment Manuel admits that many of the “muchachos” (young men) released from his facility have criminal records and all were in disbelief that they were let go.
Here is an example of the dangers, besides the obvious national security implications, of a porous border or an initiative that encourages even more illegal immigration. An illegal alien recently brought into the U.S. a deadly, drug-resistant strain of tuberculosis from Mexico. It happened in the same Texas region that’s seen a spike of illegal border crossers since the Obama administration began freeing undocumented immigrants from jail.
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