There’s a lot of confusion as to what the laws of immigration are in the United States. ICE, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency, has no choice but to follow the laws. Acting director, Mark Morgan (former Border Patrol chief) explains more about the laws.
In a conference call on June 19 with reporters, he explains that deporting illegal families is a must when they don’t show up for their court hearings. The law has to be carried out equally and fairly for all. It’s for the integrity of the immigration system and the safety of communities across the United States.
Morgan has commented on the crisis at the border, which is both a security and humanitarian crisis. The apprehension of illegal crossers grew about 135 percent within the first eight months of the 2019 fiscal year.
ICE has released over 200,000 migrants into the interior of the US since December 1 as a result of a shortage within detention capacity. Border Patrol has a holding capacity of 4000 people. However, they are passed the breaking point with as many as 19,000 in custody at any given time.
Typically, the Border Patrol will transfer illegal immigrants to ICE. Then, a decision is made as to whether they need to be held or released. As a result of overcapacity, the Border Patrol has had no choice but to release them directly.
Working the System
Many of the illegal immigrants entering the United States are from the Northern Triangle of Central America, which is made up of Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Approximately 75 percent of them are families and unaccompanied children. They give themselves up to the authorities at the border and claim asylum.
Since there are loopholes within the rules of immigration, children and families are not the ones to be removed quickly, if ever.
Morgan explains that bringing in children is often the key to getting into the country because people are identified as a family. If someone grabs a child along the way, it’s their passport into the United States. Drug cartels have actually bought ad space in Northern Triangle countries to tell people that if a kid is grabbed, they’ll be allowed into the country.
Over 80 percent of the people from the countries in the Northern Triangle have failed asylum claims. However, this is why Morgan says that the system is failing. If the asylum claim fails, they need to be removed from the country. Unfortunately, about 95 percent of the families from Central America that were caught along the border throughout 2017 are still in the country. They didn’t show up for their hearing and, therefore, they need to be removed because it’s the law. Removal efforts, as Morgan says, needs to increase.
Many of the illegal immigrants with families showing up at the border and claiming asylum are using fake documents. They’re pretending to be the parents of unrelated children so that they can be released into the country.
What the Administration is Doing
Morgan identifies that what the administration is doing about immigration is disappointing. The administration has prioritized families who are seeking asylum. Their cases are pushed to the top of immigration court dockets. Additionally, the government is helping with legal counsel, which isn’t a right in immigration proceedings. Interpreters are also being provided and ensuring they know where and when they need to appear.
Approximately 90 percent of the families on expedited dockets have failed to report for the proceedings, regardless of what the administration is doing to “help.”
When families fail to appear, it triggers deportation.