Mexican drug cartels behind border crisis

They may not be wholly responsible, but the power of Mexican drug cartels has been increased substantially over the last few years as what used to be a cottage industry of coyotes and guides taking people across the border has become an organized business, brutally and profitably run by the criminals.

The Daily Beast provides a picture of the border where the cartels use illegals as bait for the border control agents, who go after the border jumpers while the cartels sneak through huge caches of drugs. And the cartels are not shy about pointing out that if an unaccompanied minor from anywhere but Mexico can make across the US border, there is virtually no way the US government will deport them in the next few years.


In reality, it’s more likely a loophole in the George W. Bush-era policy of expeditiously charging, imprisoning, and deporting adult illegal border crossers that is drawing children in droves. According to this policy, while Mexican minors can be sent back over the border immediately, minors from other countries must be held in Customs and Border Protection’s custody for a maximum of 72 hours before they are turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement. ORR houses the minors in shelters while searching for U.S.-based relatives with whom they can stay during their deportation proceedings. As of March, 2014, there were 366,758 pending deportation cases in U.S. immigration courts. That backlog means even just receiving a court date could take years, by which time the minor could make the case that they are better off with their extended family in the States. Or they could just not show up to court and choose to live under the radar like the 11 million other undocumented immigrants currently in the United States. No doubt the criminals interested in recruiting border crosses have emphasized to families that kids face better odds in the U.S.—and so the children keep on coming.

Actually, border agents have been doing a pretty good job of apprehending people who cross. But the legal wrangling to deport the border jumpers is so convoluted that by the time immigration courts get around to hearing their case - if they hear it at all - the illegal alien is long gone.

The Daily Beast article is full of horror stories about how dangerous it is to cross the border, how cartels prey on the weak, and how hundreds die every year in the wilderness. All of this is true and it's very sad. But illiterate, uneducated desperately poor illegal aliens who come to the US to get jobs that don't exist only end up overburdening social services already stretched to the limit. And this most recent influx of illegal children will only make things worse for schools, child welfare agencies, and other related agencies that are going to be forced to care for the minor children with no relatives in the US that can take care of them.

If this influx continues and the government is forced to "resettle" the kids all over the country, immigration may become the overriding issue in the 2016 presidential campaign. Americans are fed up with our pourous borders being assaulted by violent criminal gangs. We need a president to take charge of the situation and regain control of our own borders.