Hundreds of illegal-alien children continue to cross certain sectors of the U.S. southern border each day, often with their mother. In an effort to stop them from coming, the Obama Administration is claiming they are subject to deportation but immigration attorneys say the vast majority of children may be given the legal right to stay under current immigration and asylum laws.
Coyotes used to be paid to help illegal aliens get to their final destination. But now the illegal aliens – mostly from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador. -- are just dropped off in the U.S. so they can surrender to Border Patrol Agents. “They have heard that anybody who crosses into the United States can stay,” said Albert Spratte, a Border Patrol agent and union representative in the Rio Grande Valley sector. “So they keep coming.” According to The Blaze, most illegal aliens are claiming credible fear from gang violence and seeking asylum.
Spratte told TheBlaze, “[Gang violence is] something they’re all saying and it’s obvious that it is well-rehearsed and it is a consistent story. We can’t even get them to answer their name before they tell us the gangs were the reason they fled their country.” Chris Cabrera, another union representative in the sector, told TheBlaze that on at least one occasion, they released a confirmed MS-13 gang member to his family because he had no criminal history in the United States.
The unaccompanied alien children (UACs) are given an “order to appear in court” and transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR). If they have a family member or legal guardian in the U.S., it’s ORR’s responsibility to reunite them while the children go through removal proceedings. ORR gives the children many types of aid but the most valuable is legal assistance. ORR connects the children with immigration attorneys (e.g., the Safe Passage Project) who help them through removal proceedings for free. President Obama also recently pledged to set up legal assistance through the Americorps program.
To avoid deportation, the attorney will help the child apply for a change of status or asylum. According to a Breitbart article, the Safe Passage Project said that almost 90 percent of the UACs they encounter should qualify for some type of deportation relief. To get asylum relief, an attorney must normally demonstrate that the applicant is has “credible fear” under certain protected grounds. UACs also are eligible for “Special Immigrant Juvenile Status if they claim to have been abused, neglected, or abandoned by one or both parents, which can lead to lawful permanent residency and citizenship.
The illegal alien children traveling with a mother also get an “order to appear in court,” which gives them safe passage to some destination in the U.S. But reports say that most disappear into immigrant communities throughout the country, and do not fear deportation under the Obama Administration’s enforcement guidelines. “Once they get north of the checkpoint and into the interior of the United States, they’ve basically disappeared and there is no accountability for them,’ Agent Spratte said. “[ICE] isn’t going to deport them and these people know it. It’s worth it for them to come now just in case something later changes with regard to deportation.”