Center for Immigration Studies
The Border Surge Is Much More than a Humanitarian Issue

The president’s framing of the unprecedented surge of illegal aliens turning themselves into border officials in the expectation of being allowed to stay in the United States, as an “urgent humanitarian situation”, is only partially correct. The phase is designed to misdirect public attention away from the more damming truths of the surge; it is equally, if not more so, a crisis of enforcement, governing, and the president’s responsibility carry out his oath of office. It is an ethical issue for the public as well as the president.

None of these considerations are captured or even suggested by the administration’s preferred phasing. Nor are they meant to do so.

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A Very Personal Argument for More Interior Immigration Enforcement

Sometimes we get phone calls here at the Center from distressed citizens in conflict with illegal aliens — and they add a strong, personal dimension to the arguments about the lack of interior enforcement of immigration law.

Here’s one such story, with all names deleted.

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Honduran Paper: Young People, Fleeing Neglected Schools, Head for U.S.

The Honduran newspaper El Heraldo has just published a story about schools so badly neglected by the Honduran government that they are increasingly abandoned by young people, who then choose to go to the United States:

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Salvadoran Smuggler Disputes Story of Thousands of Children Traveling Solo: “They don’t go. They are taken.”

Along the east Texas border, in towns like Brownsville, children – including very young children – are coming out of the Mexico desert, alone. They’ve fled their towns and cities in Central America. Alone, they’ve run a gauntlet across Mexico, of bandits, corrupt police, and drug gangs. Robbed, beaten, sometimes raped, kidnapped. They’re the ones who survived. Others died on the way. At least 60,000 are expected this year. … Can you imagine being 8, 10, 14 years old, fleeing your home town – Tegucigalpa, Guatemala City, San Salvador – and traveling alone on top of a train across Mexico?

— Tom Ashbrook, introducing the June 9 edition of his program “On Point”, broadcast on public radio stations across the country.

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No More Deportation Orders! Let’s Call Them “Going Home Tickets”

Restrictionists have been on the defensive linguistically for decades. Let’s turn the tables and start imposing our terms for immigration matters on the rest of society.

In some circles the technical term “illegal alien” is regarded as politically incorrect. Sometimes “undocumented immigrant” or worse, “undocumented worker”, is used. Further, as my colleague Marguerite Telford wrote recently, the administration has barred the use of the descriptive term "unaccompanied alien children".

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The Damaging Civic Consequences of Illegal Migration, Pt. 4: Rhetorical Slights of Hand

American politics, and immigration debates are certainly no exception, has become riddled with “narratives”, “framing”, and “optics” designed to convey an impression that doesn’t really exist — at least in the way it is presented.

A narrative is the construction of a set of “facts”, specifically designed to advance the interests of those who construct it. Or as a Democratic political operative put it recently to journalist Ron Fournier of the National Journal, “Every political cause has a narrative. And every narrative has a plot.”

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El Salvador Plays for Time, Demands Due Process

From La Prensa Grafica, El Salvador

An airplane with 30 Hondurans — 22 children and eight mothers — arrived at San Pedro Sula, Honduras, this week. They are the first group of Central Americans repatriated in the ongoing crisis. … The director of the Salvadoran Office of Migration, Hector Rodriguez, said that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement planned to use the same airplane to deport to El Salvador children and their accompanying adults.

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The Damaging Civic Consequences of Illegal Migration, Pt. 3: Sowing Deliberate Euphemistic Confusion

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar.

      — Attributed to Sigmund Freud

Language is the key to human insight, but also a key culprit in undermining it.

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Guatemalan Paper: U.S. Turns over 97% of Border Crossers to Relatives in the U.S.

From Prensa Libre

Ninety-seven percent of the Guatemalan minors who have gone illegally to the United States have been turned over to relatives in that country, as the law provides.

Nevertheless, this program, which is administered by the U.S. Department of Health, does not guarantee that the children will not be deported in the future.

“Those who do not stay in the U.S. are very few,” said Jose Barillas, Guatemalan consul in Houston. “Of the 240 children I interviewed last week in a shelter, I only met one who was not going to reunify with a family, and that was because he had no relative here.”

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Pressure on Mexico Is the Easiest Way to Cope with the Border Crisis

One of the easiest ways for the United States to stop the flow of illegal aliens from Central America, kids and adults alike, is to put serious pressure on Mexico to stop letting illegals move through their country.

That is not to say that the U.S. government should not take its own action to stem the surge, but that’s a different subject.

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