Politics

Surge Of Migrant Children Urged On By US-Based Parents

Photo of Neil Munro
Neil Munro
White House Correspondent

Numerous illegal immigrants in Washington D.C. are using a chain of hired smugglers and taxpayer-funded federal agencies to bring their children up from Central American and onto numerous welfare and aid programs, according to The Washington Post.

“Almost everyone in the region’s Salvadoran, Honduran and Guatemalan immigrant communities knows someone whose son or niece has traveled here from the border. New children often appear in school classrooms, health clinics and social service programs, speaking no English and still getting over their shock,” the Post reported July 14.

“Four years ago, [Allis Godoy's] teenage son David made the hazardous trip. Two and a half months ago, her youngest daughter, Madison, finally reached her side … [once] she was flown to Washington by the federal government and greeted by the mother who had last seen her when she was 6 months old,” according to the Post.

The mother, Godoy, is an illegal who works as a low-wage worker in a D.C. restaurant, according to the Post.

The growing use of federal agencies by the illegals reflects their confidence in President Barack Obama’s reluctance to enforce immigration law. Since 2009, for example, he’s effectively halted deportations of illegal immigrants who have not committed criminal felonies.

Nationwide, roughly 85 percent of the trafficked youths are being picked up from federal custody by parents or close relatives, according to the New York Times. There’s no risk to the foreign parents, because Obama’s officials do not check whether they are in the country illegally.

Between October 2013 and June 30, 2014, 57,525 children and youths claiming to be younger than 18 crossed the border without parents, according to data from the Department of Homeland Security.

In addition, many families are also crossing the border. Up to 150,000 adults with children are expected to arrive between September 2013 and October 2014.

Other media outlets describe the same pattern of parents willingly paying smugglers to guide their children past corrupt Mexican police and criminals, and then into the care of federal agencies and taxpayer-funded non-profits.

“Sneaking north into Mexico wasn’t easy, according to Brandon, who was 14 years old when he left his hometown in Guatemala last April to rejoin his parents in the United States. … [He] now lives in Virginia with his parents and is awaiting an appearance in immigration court,” according to an article on Fusion.net.

“Tanya Meza’s 8 and 9-year-old daughters arrived in the U.S. from Nicaragua last June, traveling together without a guardian,” according to a NBC report. “Tanya, who came here 6 years ago, had left the kids with grandparents [and] is still trying to find a lawyer who she can afford.”

Reports from immigration officials also highlight the role of family ties.

A leaked July 7 intelligence report stated that most migrants planned their border-crossing in cooperation with family members inside the United States. “Large number of migrants interviewed claimed family members in the United States encouraged their travel… the majority of migrants interviewed in late May indicated that they made arrangements with smugglers in their respective countries through the assistance of family members and friends in the United States,” said the report, which was prepared by the El Paso Intelligence Center, and leaked to Breitbart.com.

The July 7 report also said that crime likely isn’t driving the migration, partly because murder rates have dropped in Central American countries.

The reality of family-directed migration contradicts the administration’s public relations effort to portray the migration of “unaccompanied alien children” as a humanitarian crisis caused by crime and deprivation.

On July 9, for example, Obama described the flood of border-crossers as a “humanitarian situation on the border.” Officials are “attending to unaccompanied children with the care and compassion that they deserve while they’re in our custody. We intend to do the right thing by these children,” he said. (RELATED: Chicago Residents Hammer Obama On Immigration, Plead For Help)

The illegal immigrants are confident that Obama’s administration is on their side.

“We have followed all the immigration procedures for Madison, and I have faith she will be able to stay,” said Godoy, who is also trying legalize herself and her son David.

The boy “is in the final stages of obtaining a special humanitarian visa for undocumented youths. … Godoy herself, while still undocumented, has applied for a resident visa through a program for women victimized by crime or abuse, and she expects this will protect her from being deported,” the Post said.

But for many illegal immigrants, including Godoy, Obama’s policies are a green light.

“As she drove the children home a little while later, Godoy spotted a friend carrying groceries along the sidewalk,” the Post reported. “She honked and waved, and the woman waved back. ‘Her two kids,’ Godoy explained, ‘just arrived from Honduras.’”

Follow Neil on Twitter