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US Sending 'Get Tough' Message on Illegal Immigration Surge

US Sending 'Get Tough' Message on Illegal Immigration Surgei
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Brian Padden
June 19, 2014 7:46 PM
Conflicting policies may be contributing to the surge of undocumented young people from Central America trying to enter the United States. VOA’s Brian Padden reports that while immigration authorities say anyone who enters the country illegally -- regardless of their age -- will be deported, U.S. courts and the Obama administration have made exceptions that give many cause for hope.

US Sending 'Get Tough' Message on Illegal Immigration Surge

Brian Padden
— Conflicting policies may be contributing to the surge of undocumented young people from Central America trying to enter the United States. While immigration authorities say anyone who enters the country illegally -- regardless of their age -- will be deported, U.S. courts and the Obama administration have made exceptions that give many cause for hope.

In the last year, nearly 50,000 children from Central America have been apprehended at the U.S. border, overwhelming detention facilities. Many say they are fleeing gang violence and poverty.  But they are also motivated by the perception that if underage children make it to the United States they will not be sent home.

Elyn Rivas, herself an undocumented immigrant living in the state of Maryland, recently paid smugglers $6,000 to bring her 15-year-old son Hector Ivan Rivas to the U.S. The boy was detained by the border patrol in Texas, but eventually was released to his mother’s custody until a court hearing is scheduled.

Undocumented immigrants

Rivas said she does not believe U.S. authorities will deport him. “No, I do not think they will send him back. I do not know. I trust they will not send him back, at least that is what I hope. I trust in God.”

Immigration opponents blame Obama’s directive not to deport undocumented immigrants who came as children before 2007 for encouraging this new wave of illegal migration.  

Security analyst Adam Isacson with Washington Office on Latin America recently was in Central America interviewing migrants making their way to the United States, and heard rumors of amnesty.

“We have heard that newspapers and especially smugglers are spreading some story that until the end of this year -- why the end of this year who knows -- there is a special dispensation or a special status or something that will allow women and children to come to the United States," said Isacson

Enforcing deportation

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson recently tried to clarify the U.S. position, saying authorities will deport these young people trying to enter the country illegally.  

"I also wish to make clear that those apprehended at our border are priorities for removal. They are priorities for enforcement of our immigration laws, regardless of age," said Johnson.

But Isacson says U.S. courts also could overrule deportation orders if the children can claim credible fear from gang violence. “It is possible that some of those kids do have a good chance of staying, especially if they can argue they face some danger when they come back," he said.

With 60,000 more undocumented minors expected to cross the border this year, the president is trying to get the word out that deportation laws will be enforced. He also is seeking $160 million in new funds from Congress to assist in swiftly processing the young immigrants.

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by: Anonymous
June 20, 2014 5:56 PM
In my line of work what makes me sick is to see that all the recent Mexican immigrants have all their children in Medicaid and food stamps. This is driving politicians to keep on raising our taxes to pay for this foolishness. When will people stand up and as jihadists against more taxes and welfare say NO! Enough!

In Response

by: Matt Archuleta from: Las Vegas
June 20, 2014 9:42 PM
I just see all the time this hustle to come here. Go to the market and you will see the ol lady with 5-6 hundred in food stamps then the ol man break out a c note to pay for the beer and tequila then go get in a new Escalade or pickup with another 5-6 thousand in wheels and tires. Wake up America


by: Jonas from: seattle
June 20, 2014 3:19 PM

Why believe what undocumented immigrants say about social conditions in their home countries - how stupid - of course, they'll say whatever in order to induce US authorities to let them stay. Surely, you cannot believe those lies; alternately, can the gov. really afford (with vets homeless on the streets of every major city) to finance these invaders. How can you be so easily duped..... SEND THEM BACK.


by: Beans and Rice
June 20, 2014 3:01 PM
Conflicting policies are NOT a "get tough message"! Far from it!


by: Sara from: Seattle
June 20, 2014 2:15 PM
Deport them. They are not here legally. Not fair to treat the foreigners who follow the procedure and endure the long painful wait for immigration to pull their finger out. Why do the southern border jumpers get different treatment? Ridiculous.


by: James Butler from: Flint ,Texas
June 20, 2014 10:28 AM
The green light is on and do not pay attention to what is said by this administration watch what they do and that is evident at our boarder. Welcome to America we will take care of you and the American taxpayers will foot the bill. A country with out secure boarders is no country.


by: Rob Lowes from: Lockout, CA
June 20, 2014 7:22 AM
This problem should have been dealt with a long time ago. If they stay they will be in gangs doing street crimes. they should be loaded on boats and returned to their home country and told never return to the US


by: JimDandy
June 20, 2014 7:11 AM
Elyn Rivas is in the country illegally. Being that she is in the country illegally, it is illegal for her to be employed in the U.S. Yet she lives in Maryland and sent $6,000 to have her son brought to the U.S. illegally and she's giving interviews on the whole thing.

Yet the IRS is sweating me over every penny on my tax returns.


by: John Martin
June 20, 2014 2:19 AM
you know that Obama, Pelosi and Reid don't care what Americans say about this problem, right? Look at the majority of comments here and on other forums. They simply don't care because they are a democrat party elite that caters to corporate interests and open borders groups.


by: Big-time Jack Goff
June 20, 2014 12:05 AM
uh oh, look out Barrack "roll out the red carpet for unregistered democrats" and Eric "kid gloves" Holder and are getting tough on illegal immigration. What does that mean, they think they've finally let enough future democrats in to start swaying elections? Now their going to start finally enforcing our exist laws, and stop pumping for illegal immigration reform?


by: Telezer from: Eastern Orygun
June 19, 2014 10:57 PM
Send them all back home. They are not our problem. We should not allow them to become our problem.

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