Obama's Amnesty Legislation Misunderstood by Illegal Immigrants—Now DHS Needs Thousands of Pairs of Men’s Briefs for Detained Illegal Immigrant Children

An influx of unaccompanied children crossing the Mexican boarder is putting a strain on the resources of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), the department tasked with providing basic necessities to detained illegal immigrants. 

In a bid solicitation posted earlier this month, the agency said it needs 3,500 pairs of 100 percent cotton men's briefs from sizes medium to extra large. But the agency has bigger problems than the bare bottoms of border hoppers.

With more than 52,000 Central American minors arrested since October, the patrol stations in South Texas have nowhere to put them. According to permits obtained by the Associated Press, the U.S. government plans to turn an empty 22,000 square-foot warehouse near the Rio Grande Valley's busiest Border Patrol station into a facility to house 1,000 children in "four fence-enclosed pods inside a corrugated steel warehouse." The new "processing facility" will have rows of cells with unsecured doors and open "interaction/play" areas.

Currently the U.S. detains minors who illegally enter the country without an adult. A 2008 law requires them to be turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours. But because HHS is overwhelmed as well, this procedure is rarely followed, said Federal Emergency Management Agency administrator Craig Fugate during a recent congressional hearing.

When the children are finally turned over to HHS, they are "processed" and then sent to shelters around the country. Only later does the department make arrangements to send them back to their home countries. This is not true for all children who are caught crossing the border. Mexican children can usually be sent back immediately.

The problem is that the majority of unaccompanied children are coming from places like Honduras and Guatemala. Tragically, many of these children are fleeing to the U.S. to escape poverty and seek refuge from gangs and violence.

Children and their families are reportedly being convinced by people known as coyotes, who facilitate human smuggling, that they will receive permits to stay in the U.S. because of President Obama's 2011 Deferred Access for Childhood Arrivals program, which allows young immigrants to apply for a two-year authorization. The program would not apply to new immigrants, however. Applicants must have been in the U.S. for at least five years as of 2012.

And unfortunately things look like they're only going to get worse as the number of children immigrating illegally is expected to keep rising. Border Patrol better order more underwear.

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  • John||

    If we had the truly open border that Reason wants, wouldn't this be happening even more? It is easy to say "just turn them out into the streets" but the public would never tolerate that. If unaccompanied kids show up at the border, the public is going to expect the government to take care of them. And if the rule is that any kid who shows up gets to say, a lot of parents in various awful places are going to send their kids and let uncle Sam take care of them. And since it costs money to get here, a good number of parents won't have the money for the whole family so they will just send their kids with the money they do have.

    So what is Reason's plan to deal with this?

  • Lord Humungus||

    celebrate the diversity sick and homeless?

  • Invisible Finger||

    End the welfare state.

    Of course, your precious "public" would never tolerate that either.

  • Agammamon||

    One of two plans.

    1. Open up immigration for the parents - that way they don't have to toss their kids over the border and hope for the best.

    2. Work visas. Come here, work for the season, go home to your family. Come back next year, rinse repeat.

  • Homple||

    We're so good at enforcing the immigration laws we have now that I can't imagine any problems enforcing work visas. Can you?

  • Agammamon||

    Actually, I can.

    People come here *now* to work. They *stay* because its so damn hard and expensive to get here.

    Incentives . . . unintended consequences. . etc.

    There's an analogy here with taxes. Make taxes low and people don't waste time trying to figure out ways to avoid paying them. IOW people will obey the law when the costs for doing so are low.

    If work visas are easy to get, it will be easy to comply with the law. Instead of paying thousands of dollars to try to sneak your family across the border having to spend decades keeping your head down to avoid detection by the authorities (and the loss of access to the courts for dispute resolution that entails), along with living in a very foreign culture, its easy to choose o come work for a few months and then go home when you know you can come back next season.

    I mean, you talk about *enforcement*. Most of our laws don't actually really require much enforcement. Cops don't need to kick down your door to check to see if you've been murdered or stolen from. IMO, any law that requires a lot of 'enforcement' is, de fact, a bad law.

  • Homple||

    Could you share some details of how the work visas should be enforced, then?

    My concern with the work visa proposal is that, like the laws on the books now, it won't be enforced. Your reply does not increase my trust in your idea.

  • Anomalous||

    1. Collect Underpants
    2. ?
    3. Profit

  • pan fried wylie||

    One would think, and yet the feds somehow manage to lose money on the operation.

  • MiloMinderbinder||

    I a reliably informed that increasing immigration will end support for the welfare state. See United States (1965-2014)

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