Congress Has the Power to Keep Central American Migrants Home
You knowthe crisis on the U.S.-Mexico border is real when “America’sNewspaper” calls for action.
USAToday is hardly restrictionist on immigration policy — far from it, actually— but even its editors now agree that the record waves of asylum seekers andmigrant “family units” are collapsing the system and creating a“mess.”
After again floating the dubious proposition that U.S. taxpayers dispatch billions more aid dollars to Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador to “re-establish control and order over their countries” (read: line the pockets of Northern Triangle oligarchs), a USA Today editorial promoted a better idea:
“The second best approach — one that Democrats as well as Republicans should embrace — would be to amend a 2008 anti-trafficking law so that people [FAIR clarification: specifically Unaccompanied Alien Children, otherwise known as UACs] from the three affected countries fall under the same restrictions that people from Mexico and Canada do,” USA Today opined.
“Now, only people fromAmerica’s immediate neighbors can be sent home while theirapplications for asylum or refugee status are pending. This has had theperverse effect of causing some desperate Central Americans to thinkthere is a green light for them.”
Thenewspaper is absolutely correct.
Examining the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act (TVPRA) last year, FAIR said the “well-intended humanitarian law, which was designed to protect minors from sex traffickers, is now being exploited.
“Minorsfrom across the globe are now sent to our borders by families hoping toestablish an immigration anchor in the United States. The overly broadprovisions of the TVPRA virtually guarantee that unaccompanied minors will beadmitted to the United States, and allowed to stay, in order to completelengthy judicial proceedings that inadvertently encourage both fraud andfurther exploitation of children by parties savvy enough to exploit thesystem.”
That isexactly what is happening. Anyone with eyes can see it.
The Department of Homeland Security reported that under TVPRA and the futile catch-and-release policy it helps trigger, more than 267,000 UACs and family units were released into the interior of the U.S. from Fiscal Year 2016-2018. The current accelerating influx is on track to more than double that number before this year is out.
Yet,according to USA Today, “the president has neverlaunched any kind of campaign to [fix TPRA], even when he had sympatheticmajorities in both chambers of Congress.”
The newspaper’s ritualsniping at the White House aside, Congress must take responsibility for the lawit passed eight years before Trump took office. TVPRA helped set the surge ofUACs in motion, and lawmakers from both parties own this problem. They have thepower to shut down a critical migrant magnet that’s magnifying a humanitariancrisis.
The American people expectcommonsense, effective bipartisan action here. Isn’t it high time they got it?