CONTRIBUTORS

With unaccompanied children crossing the border, barely a peep from Maine’s reps, senators

Posted July 14, 2014, at 1:11 p.m.
BDN

When will Maine’s congressional delegation respond to the crisis of unaccompanied alien children streaming into Texas from Central American countries?

Because we are 3,000 miles away, does that mean this crisis can be ignored?

The UACs, as the U.S. Justice Department refers to them, are being sent to California and Oklahoma, in addition to locations in Texas. According to the NumbersUSA website, there also are plans to send them to two locations in New York state. Who’s next? Us? Do we want them and the attendant problems they bring?

The U.S. Border Patrol has been overwhelmed and has stripped other locations of border coverage to “babysit” the UACs, with serious and unintended consequences.

I was at the border in Texas and Arizona in April, my sixth trip there on border watch. As a follow-up to the April trip, I phoned Tim Foley, the field operations director of Arizona Border Recon, a group of citizens who patrol the Arizona-Mexico border. He informed me that 200 U.S. Border Patrol agents from the Tucson Sector of Arizona were sent to Texas to help with the processing of the UACs. The drug cartels quickly noted the thinning out of U.S. Border Patrol coverage and, according to Foley, the amount of drugs carried over by their “mules” has tripled. In a later phone call, he said that an additional 140 U.S. Border Patrol agents had been sent to Texas, a number later confirmed in a radio report.

These are not “unaccompanied alien children” as you might understand that term. While these minors are crossing the U.S.-Mexico border without their parents, most are accompanied by adult guides.

It is certainly understandable that these people, who are caught in unfortunate circumstances and victimized by corrupt governments and lawless societies, would want to escape from unbearable situations in their home countries. But we can’t take in all the world’s problems.

We already grant 1 million green cards each year. In 2012, those green cards went to 202 of the world’s 205 nations; that is 98.5 percent of the all the countries in the world.

In 2012, we took in 58,238 refugees and 29,484 asylees. In addition, there are the hundreds of thousands who come in as students and nonimmigrant (temporary) workers. That’s just the legal part as recorded in Department of Homeland Security reports.

When you factor in the estimated 12 million illegal immigrants in the country, then you have to understand we are way past the point of assimilation. We are facing the balkanization of our country.

Consider these related facts: According to a July 2014 report by the Center for Immigration Studies, 33,959 of 141,525 migrants taken into custody by Immigration and Customs Enforcement in the first six months of the fiscal year — 24 percent, almost one in four — were convicted criminals.

Another report by the Center for Immigration Studies, using data from the Census Bureau, shows an average of 53 percent of households headed by immigrants from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala “use at least one major welfare program. … Among native households, it is 24 percent.”

Article 4, Section 4 of the U.S. Constitution states: “The United States shall guarantee to every State in this Union a Republican Form of Government, and shall protect each of them against invasion.”

And where is Maine’s Congressional delegation? How are they responding to this “invasion” of tens of thousands of “escorted illegal alien minors?”

Blissfully unaware; that’s how their responses come across!

Just take a gander at their websites on thomas.loc.gov, the official site of the U.S. Congress. You will see preening, posturing and posing taken to a stratospheric level, and nothing on this “invasion.”

Sen. Angus King was on CNN talking about it Friday but made no mention of securing the border and turning away the flood of UACs. U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud is running for governor; enough said. U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree: disengaged.

Sen. Susan Collins did sign a letter to President Barack Obama on June 26, 2014, asking him to take action to stop this, but it should be in flashing neon lights on her website.

What is going on at the Texas border should meet anyone’s definition of “invasion,” and our congressional delegation should be using a megaphone to stop it — for the sake of our state and our nation.

Bob Casimiro of Bridgton is former executive director of Massachusetts Citizens for Immigration Reform.

 

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