On the Border: What to Do About the 'Humanitarian Crisis'?


America's southern border is experiencing a surge in undocuments immigrants and has become a hotbed of both political debate. Here's a look into what's happening in Texas, Arizona, and New Mexico, and what local governments and federal officials are doing about it. 

Causes of the humanitarian crisis

Since the beginning of the fiscal year, Border Patrol has detained over 52,000 Central American immigrant children who were traveling alone, as well as 39,000 adults with children. There as an important distinction to make between children from Mexico and children from other countries.

There's an uptick in the latter group, and Associated Press suggests that many are "flee[ing] violence, killings and extortion from criminal gangs in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras. Many are under the impression they will receive leniency from U.S. authorities, despite coming to the country illegally."

Whereas Mexicans are can be transported immediately back to their native country, the others cannot. Vox explains that under a series of laws passed in 2002

Border Patrol is required to take child migrants who aren't from Mexico into custody, screen them, and transfer them to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (a part of the Department of Health and Human Services).

The law tasks HHS with either finding a suitable relative to whom the child can be released, or putting the child in long-term foster care." …

According to Wendy Young of Kids in Need of Defense (KIND), an advocacy organization for unaccompanied immigrant children, the current system Congress put in place "was designed for about 6,000 to 8,000 kids a year — not the numbers we're seeing now."

There is a "humanitarian crisis unfolding across our nation's southern border," as House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) puts it

Responses: Locals bear burden, Boehner forms working group, Obama mulls executive order

Pelosi is traveling to South Texas Detention Facility tomorrow. A bipartisan group led by Judiciary Chairman Robert W. Goodlatte (R-Va.) will go to the border next week. What these trips will amount to is yet unkwown, but border patrol certainly doesn't like the bad press: The Nogales Processing Center barred a group of clergy and advocates who accompanied Rep. Raúl Grijalva (D-Ariz.) to the unsanitary, cramped facility and ordered employees not to take any photographs of the conditions after several leaked.

"The local governments are … looking at some centers in the valley… abandoned buildings where they're going to put fences inside the buildings to create detention cells and just throw people in there," according to Sigifredo Gonzalez, former sheriff of Zapata County, Texas.

CBS reports that "Customs and Border Patrol has been shipping illegal immigrants to facilities all over the country and reportedly are even looking at using an abandoned Walmart in New York." This response, says Rep. Chris Collins (R-NY), is unacceptable. "The federal government is trying to force the hardworking taxpayers of New York to foot the bill to house undocumented immigrants. The President's actions have fueled the current crises along the southern border, and now New York residents are being directly impacted by his irresponsible actions."

"About 700 immigrants" will be accommodated in a Border Patrol training academy in Artesia, New Mexico beginning next week.

Although he has "outlined no specific duties," House Speaker John Boehner organized a group of Republican representatives to devise a solution to the crisis and criticized that "the president has allowed a national security and humanitarian crisis to develop on the U.S. southern border. There are two imperatives here: protect those children and secure our border," according to Politico. One week ago Boehner suggested that the president deploy the National Guard.

As far as the Obama administration's plans go, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said this week, "We're not just going to sit around and wait interminably for Congress" to make laws. "We've been waiting a year already. The president has tasked his Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with reviewing what options are available to the president, what is at his disposal using his executive authority to try to address some of the problems that have been created by our broken immigration system." Many fellow Democrats have come out in favor of executive action regarding immigration reform.

Johnson announced a 15-point plan on Tuesday. It includes building more detention facilities as well as launching "public awareness campaigns" in Central America "to communicate the dangers of sending unaccompanied children on the long journey from Central America to the United States."

NEXT: Little Boy Skips Church, Goes to Dollar Store, Police Arrest His Father for Child Endangerment

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  1. There’s precious little chance of an illegal immigrant getting deported here, unless they choose to do something incredibly stupid. Much of Obama’s record high deportations occurred near the border. They returned folks who were caught fresh.

    And now, Obama’s executive orders made deportations even less likely, and there’s a lot of talk about changing demographics.

    America is one of the few (if not ONLY) in which outside groups and non resident minorities have this much political influence. Those who are astute note they often empower big government in many ways. But it’s in vain.

    1. There’s precious little chance of an illegal immigrant getting deported here

      That’s a lie.

      1. The illegal immigrant children in this manufactured crisis cannot be deported as a matter of law.

      2. Like I said, unless an illegal alien choose to do something stupid (like beating your girlfriend silly) the chances of them getting deported is small.

        You can arrive here by airplane and stay 5,6 years relatively easy. Foreigners don’t have to register in separate data bases and police officers enjoy less freedom to check immigration status.

        And as for those terrifying immigration raids, they don’t happen that much. At least not on schools and other public places. Courthouses are an exception.

  2. “According to a major new report from the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), net employment growth in the United States since 2000 has gone entirely to immigrants, legal and illegal. Using data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, CIS scholars Steven A. Camarota and Karen Zeigler found that there were 127,000 fewer working-age natives holding a job in the first quarter of 2014 than in 2000, while the number of immigrants with a job was 5.7 million above the 2000 level.”

    1. Wait, are you saying people who are allowed/willing to work for lower wage or under tougher conditions have a comparative advantage over those who aren’t and are thus heavily favored in an ailing economy?

      While that’s just patently unfair. The obvious solution of course is to make sure those poor unfortunate immigrants get the full pay and work “protection” us natives enjoy, so that they can get all the perks of a living wage at a real job (and the same unemployment, but why should they have the option to work at low paying unsafe jobs?).

      1. They are not immigrants. That implies a legal process. What you are saying is you are for legal open borders? What about our citizens, is there no distinction?

        1. The numbers he cited includes immigrants.

          Furthermore, trying to keep salaries high by artificially limiting the labor supply based on citizenship is doomed to failure anyway, no matter how much you may wish that an accident of birth grants you special privileges.

          Personally, I’m not for open border for political and social reasons. But economically, open borders would be the best policy for everybody, including US citizens.

          1. For whom???

  3. On the whole when we discuss immigration, I think we should take our hats off to Milton Friedman who appears to have nailed the issue thirty years out. The problem isn’t immigration, the problem is the welfare state. Tangent: if this was a Republican administration, I’m pretty sure those pics of kids sleeping on the floor and in cages would never leave the front page of our papers.

    1. Then, might Libertarians henceforth avow that AFTER the borders are secured AND AFTER the welfare state is reformed, THEN we discuss “immigration reform”?

      1. That’s my position.

      2. So, never?

      3. “Securing a border” is a conceptual and physical impossibility.

        The English can’t even secure their borders, and they live on a damn island.

        And somehow you imagine that this will ever be within the power of an entity such as the US government?

        Get real.

    2. Harry Browne said a NECESSARY prerequisite to open borders was to take down the “Free Lunch” sign, which includes minimum wage.

    3. Yes, lets listen to an imbecile as dumb as an economist – the “only” problem with open borders is the welfare state. Yeah, things like resources, language, and culture don’t matter as long as there is no welfare to get. So once we end welfare and they form gangs to steal to get what they want then what?

  4. We have borders for a reason.
    1. While the kids use the attention of our border guards are Sunni Terrorists coming in? Most certainly drugs and evil gang members that have been evicted are coming back.
    2. How can a nation that since 2008 has had the worst Depression which still continues unabated, and possibly getting far worse, continues allowing this amount of poor into its borders. Remember for each child will be allowed 7 Adults. 100,000 kids, 700.000 adults.

    Or poor citizens in inner cities and poor rural areas deserve any jobs that from time to time come up. This administration makes numbers look better but; the real truth is we still have Minority children 16 and over 28% unemployed in our country. This will only make it far, far worse!

  5. As far as the Obama administration’s plans go, Press Secretary Josh Earnest said this week, “We’re not just going to sit around and wait interminably for Congress” to make laws. “We’ve been waiting a year already. The president has tasked his Secretary of Homeland Security Jeh Johnson with reviewing what options are available to the president, what is at his disposal using his executive authority to try to address some of the problems that have been created by our broken immigration system.” Many fellow Democrats have come out in favor of executive action regarding immigration reform.

    It was executive orders that precipitated this crisis in the first place. And Obama administration naivette in general is to blame. There’s a reason for deliberation (as in congress) before making laws and a dire need for topical knowledge and understanding that this administration sorely lacks. Any additional “executive action” is certain to add to the problem, not solve it. Just another example among many as to why tyranny is inefficient and ineffective.

  6. Homeland Security is requesting donations of men’s briefs be sent to the south west border to accommodate the latest wave of illegals. Most specifically, sizes XL – XXXXXXL are desperately needed. SIX XL??? How does a XL commando beaner get under a fucking wire??? How does he get to the fucking wire in 110+ degree heat in the first place.

    I suspect air conditioned Trailways and an embarrassingly lack of wire. The lack of skivvies I’ll leave to your imagination.

    1. Sigh, the US government can’t spend a few hundred thousand dollars to buy fresh underwear for soon to be deported illegals? How much money did they spend on Obama’s vacations?

      Not a big fan of the word “beaner”.

      1. Soon to be deported illegals. I’m not sure if it stuns me that you expect people to believe that, or you expect them to believe YOU believe that.

      2. XM,

        Agreed on the use of the word “beaner”. However, I am not a big fan of the names I am called as a European-American. Stuff like Gringo and whatnot.

  7. If the GOP plays this correctly (and not talk about amnesty), this could be the death nail for Democrats. Out of work Americans aren’t having this sympathy for illegals. Everything about this has Obama’s DREAM ACT written all over it. Of course what will happen is Jeb Bush or some other Centrist will come out with their compassionate conservatism and destroy the party’s chances on a moments notice. Unless we are going to completely destroy the welfare state, business regulatory bureaucracy, and give these people a tax number so that they aren’t committing identity theft when filing taxes, and is asking that they speak, write, and understand English too much? Unless we do all that, open borders aren’t a possibility. We can’t legalize open immigration until we have open trade, open business, and a true free market. As of now we got an attempt to keep statism alive, because the children of illegal immigrants won’t vote against the conditions that their parents escaped from.

    1. Open borders, no matter how you get there is a stupid idea. Once you let people in they will cause problems if they cannot support themselves. Just because some tomato picker can support himself from 20-40 doesn’t mean he will do so later in life.

      There is a good reason to keep people out, it increases the quality of life for everybody not just the 1%ers.

  8. All this panic among U.S. Politicians about the border really began when the drug cartels took over Mexico. More millions came to the U.S. illegally. The influence of the Mexican drug cartels spread north. These weak-minded fools can’t figure out what to do about it because they need the Hispanic vote, legal or illegal. I also wonder how many of these people are getting paid off. They (the U.S. politicians) are also afraid of being called racists if any of them oppose immigration reform.

    What needs to be done about it is called seal and militarize the border. This is an invasion. Of course this should have been done some time ago but it is still not too late, although it might be. It is not our fault in the United States that these countries south of our border are corrupt or that a flood tide of humanity down there believes it is their right to come over here any time they want.

    The plan should be to seal the border. Spend the money and start on it now. In the meantime, send the U.S. Army and the U.S. Marines to control it and patrol it, along with the sadly undermanned Border Patrol. Use your imaginations with regard to the words “seal the border”. The U.S. Air Force can fly armed surveillance, and the U.S. Navy can patrol the Rio Grande.

    Will any of this be done? No! Prepare to face the consequences.

    1. It is not our fault in the United States that these countries south of our border are corrupt[.]

      No, actually, given how much of the shit that goes on down South is due to either the Drug War or our Banana Republic through Anti-Commie idiocy, I’m pretty sure we bear some of the blame there.

  9. Think of everything related to this as “The Mexican-American War of 1846-1848 has come home to roost”.

  10. How about a Five point plan of: Machine Guns. Mine Fields. Electrified Barbed Wire. Searchlights. Attack Dogs. Add to that and up the number of points for the plan. No need for detention centers. A sealed border with the existing legal points of entry is what is needed. Want to come to the U.S.? Then come here through a legal checkpoint and get the papers you need. Welcome LEGAL IMMIGRANTS.

    1. Except we don’t need any immigrants. The country is full and the water resources are getting depleted. It is time to close the gates. The population has to stabilize some time, why not now?

      1. MarkinLA,

        ok No more immigrants (at least for a while anyway). And you probably already agree with me about how to close those “southern gates”. However, you probably know that it is not going to happen. All kinds of problems that exist now are going to get worse. While we were off on the far flung corners of the planet telling everyone how to do this and that, we were in the process of being invaded because our government failed to secure our borders. What an irony and a tragedy. But wait, I have a solution. Why don’t we take all of our illegal “immigrants” and put them in the Border Patrol with guarantees of U.S. citizenship if THEY seal the border. Ha!

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