According to a statement from the Federation on American Immigration Reform, the Obama administration has spent the past seven and half years “eviscerating immigration enforcement and blasting holes in statutory limits on the number of people who can be admitted to the United States.” The advocacy group cited an announcement by the Department of Homeland Security announced that it will expand and increase admission of both minors and adults through the Central American Minors Refugee and Parole Program (CAM).
FAIR said in the statement that the Obama administration is deliberately misleading the American public about the scope of this “unauthorized program and the people who may benefit from the expanded CAM program.” In last week’s DHS announcement, the administration will find those illegal immigrants who claim to have arrived as children in the U.S. will be eligible for settlement in the U.S. According to FAIR, despite temporary relief from deportation, recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA ) remain illegal aliens. Also eligible are relatives of those who are here under Temporary Protected Status.
The Obama administration has had to admit that its Central American Minors program, through which parents from Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras) countries who are legally living in the U.S. could obtain authorization for their children under the age of 21 to come to this country legally, without risking their lives on the deadly trek through Mexico to reach the border. The surge of minors did abate somewhat in 2015, but it has peaked again this summer. The processing time (eight months) has been blamed for the upsurge. Processing includes DNA testing, paid for by the families. The violence that afflicts the region has been blamed for pushing migrants to leave home and brave the perilous journey north. Recently, the Obama administration acknowledged that the system created “an insufficient pathway” for those fleeing danger. Therefore, it will cast its net more broadly and allow the children of applicants living legally in the U.S. to bring their siblings older than 21, parents and other relatives who act as caregivers. The government also will establish referral programs in the home countries to process refugee applications and will work with international refugee agencies to temporarily house up to 200 people at a time in Costa Rica while the application and vetting process takes place. In a conversation with Spero News, FAIR spokesman Ira Mehlman said that, so far, Mexico is doing a better job at controlling immigration than the U.S., while he questioned whether there remains the political will in the U.S. to address illegal immigration.
According to FAIR, processing centers are being set up in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras to process applications for visas. “And it's not just minors who will be eligible. If the qualifying parents have left their kids behind in Central America in the care of someone else, the caregivers are eligible to come too, presumably with their spouses and dependents.”
In October and November 2015, more than 10,000 illegal alien minors crossed into the U.S., which was only slightly down from the same period in 2014. According to FAIR, the number of unaccompanied minors arriving at the border this year is on pace to eclipse the record levels of 2014. So far, the administration has budgeted $750 million to address the issue.
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