The surge in family apprehensions at the U.S.-Mexico border in 2016 is driven by migrants from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, who together make up 80 to 90% of these apprehensions. But illegal border crossings from terror-sponsoring states like Pakistan and Somalia have also been on the rise.
People from around the world are making a run for border – the U.S. border – and many see it as an eleventh-hour effort to gain permanent asylum in America before the doors close, or at least get significantly tightened up, under the forthcoming presidency of Donald Trump.
But time is running out. They now have 47 days to make it to America under the open-arms policy of President Barack Obama.
The Department of Homeland Security reported on Nov. 10 that immigration detention facilities are already overflowing and now there’s a new surge that has been growing since August.
Here are the recent numbers, rounded off, of illegal border crossings:
And these are just the known crossings.
A new report, which the DHS was sitting on and only released after the election, suggests that only 54 percent of the migrants trying to sneak across the border are even apprehended.
In short, the U.S. government doesn’t know who these people are or where they came from and they will now melt into the nation’s illegal immigrant population completely unaccounted for.
The trend over the last seven years of the Obama administration has been for a growing percentage of the illegal border crossers to come from countries other than Mexico. Central Americans make up the fastest growing segment of migrants surging at the border but increasing numbers have also been coming from terror-sponsoring countries in Africa and the Middle East.
WND reported in late September, in fact, that the U.S. Border Patrol had been ordered to stand down and abandon regular patrols of one of the major routes for human smuggling into Southern California, the so-called S-2 corridor.
Investigative reporter Sharyl Attkisson recently delved into the situation at the border. She spoke to Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Texas, who represents a congressional district that has endured more than its share of the heavy influx of migrants crossing through an increasingly porous U.S. border.
“Back last year around this time, I had said we need to look at those numbers because they look like they’re increasing,” Cuellar told Attkisson.
In the 2016 fiscal year, more than 408,000 illegally crossed the southern border — that we know of.
That includes more than 59,000 migrants under the age of 18 who came without parents or guardians.
Most of the Central American youths crossed in through Cuellar’s district, which includes Laredo, Texas.
But that’s not all that’s coming.
There’s also been a big influx in Haitians coming into the U.S. illegally.
“I think what’s happening now is people are realizing all you have to do is get to the southern border and just claim asylum, refugee or credible fear, then they’ll process you, give you the notice to appear and then you wait three, four years for a court hearing and that’s why you got Haitians, you got other people,” Cuellar told Attkisson.
In 2015, only about 339 Haitians were taken in by Border Patrol. But in 2016, that number skyrocketed. More than 5,000 Haitians illegally entered through California alone, Attkisson reports.
In September, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director Sarah Saldana testified: “I think you know that right now the emergency situation that I’m aware of is actually on a California border with some 4,000 Haitians there.”
That’s an abuse of the international refugee Geneva accords signed by world leaders in 1951. A refugee was defined at that convention as someone with a “well-founded fear” of persecution for their religious or political beliefs or because of their ethnic or national identity. And those who legitimately claim that fear are supposed to seek asylum in the first country of safety in which they arrive.
That would mean Central Americans should seek asylum in Mexico. And the increasing numbers of Africans and Middle-Easterners are passing through multiple safe countries to get to the United States.
But President Obama and Secretary of State John Kerry have negotiated a deal with the United Nations in which they will consider admitting Central American migrants as “refugees.”
The Haitian influx is causing such a crisis, that the U.S. government recently began a program to deport thousands of them…Focusing first on convicted felons.
Haiti is refusing to accept all of the citizens the U.S. is trying to deport, Attkisson reports.
One notorious case is that of Jean Jacques. He came here illegally in the 1990’s and shot a woman in the head. Upon his release from prison, he wasn’t deported… and stabbed to death another young American woman. A bipartisan group of Senators wants the U.S. to deny visas for visitors from countries that are refusing their deported citizens.
Saldana said up to 40,000 Haitians are en route to the United States.
In 2016, the Border Patrol also took in nearly 200,000 Mexicans who entered illegally, 75,000 Guatemalans, 72,000 from El Salvador and, 53,000 Hondurans.
“There are countries from all over the world not just Mexico and Central America,” Cuellar said. “So it’s a U.N. type of diversity if I can say that.”
Cuellar questions why U.S. tax money provided to Central America to keep so many from fleeing hasn’t been used for that purpose. Congress approved an additional $750 million dollars to help the Central American countries address some of the issues.
“A year later, they’ve only allotted out 23 million dollars, as of a week ago,” Cuellar said.
Cubans, Pakistanis also coming in droves
Cubans — who get automatic legal status and benefits under Cold War policy — are also crossing the southern border en mass.
In 2014, 23,000 Cubans entered the U.S. In 2016, that number more than doubled to 55,000.
There’s also an alarming uptick in illegal entries via Mexico by Pakistani nationals. The Islamic Republic of Pakistan is considered by many to be a state sponsor of terrorism. The Border Patrol took in 31 Pakistanis in 2014 — but more than 300 this year. Similar trends are seen for those migrating illegally from Somalia, Eritrea and Sudan.
Attkisson asked Cuellar if Americans should be concerned that the number of Pakistanis seeking asylum in the U.S. has gone up 935 percent over the last two years.
“It is because people from different parts of the world, Africa, Middle East, other parts of the world are now realizing that all you have to do is get to the southern border of the United States and there’s a process there, you can claim a legal defense, and you just get to come in. I mean, people, the smuggling organizations know exactly what they’re doing.”
Get Sharyl Attkisson’s full report on the U.S. border crisis at her website, Full Measure.