The current crisis on our southern border should not come as a surprise. It has been years since Texas Governor Rick Perry warned the Obama administration of the rising numbers of unaccompanied children illegally pouring into the country. In a letter from Gov. Perry to the President on May 4, 2012 (full letter embedded below) Perry wrote:
There are many consequences of having an unsecure border. Not only are drug seizures up and cartels infiltrating our communities, but, as your administration is fully aware, there is a surge of unaccompanied illegal minors entering the United States. Aside from being part of an obvious humanitarian crisis, these unaccompanied illegal minors have left the federal government scrambling to triage the results of its failed border security and immigration policies.
Two years later and still the administration has done nothing to stem this crisis. Instead, its actions (and inactions) have exacerbated it, just as Gov. Perry predicted they would:
[B]y failing to take immediate action to return these minors to their countries of origin and prevent and discourage others from coming here, the federal government is perpetuating the problem.
Inaction encourages other minors to place themselves in extremely dangerous situations.
The problem, as Gov. Perry recognizes, isn’t that the administration wasn’t aware of the situation on the border. It’s that they are complicit in deliberately fomenting this crisis. In fact, rather than take concrete steps to reverse it in its incipiency when Gov. Perry sounded the alarm, this administration—the one Mark Warner supports with 97% of his votes—instead poured more fuel on the fire.
Just a month after Gov. Perry’s letter, in June 2012 President Obama announced the Deferred Action for Child Arrivals (“DACA”) program. DACA amounts to a promise of de facto amnesty to illegal immigrant children by allowing for deportation or other proceedings to be “deferred” for two years, subject to renewal. The DACA program is essentially the administrative version of the so-called DREAM Act, which stands for Development, Relief, and Education for Alien Minors. The DREAM Act would provide permanent residency for certain illegal immigrants who came here as children. Sen. Mark Warner is a proud co-sponsor of the DREAM Act.
As Charles Krauthammer notes, this administration’s excuse that horrible conditions in El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras are what is driving this crisis is just bunk. These kids are coming here (or are being sent here) because this administration’s actions telegraph very clearly the intent to legalize as many unlawful immigrants as possible, using children as the emotional hook to get the actions past an otherwise skeptical public.
Why do they come? The administration pretends it’s because of violence and poverty.
Nonsense. When has there not been violence and poverty in Central America? Yet this wave of children has doubled in size in the past two years and is projected to double again by October. The new variable is Obama’s unilateral (and lawless) June 2012 order essentially legalizing hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants who came here as children.
Message received in Central America.
And if there is any doubt that there are very real, very clear electoral politics at play here, consider this. Here in Virginia, Mark Warner’s Democrats and their labor union allies have seized on the opportunity presented by the DACA program, and have engaged in an organized effort to help eligible unlawful immigrants apply for the program. Call it a “pathway to becoming a Democrat.”
This is why Mark Warner as governor made the sensible choice to tighten up restrictions against government assistance benefits going to illegal immigrants, but once in Washington—and clearly apprised of the party’s overall strategy—he switched gears completely and voted against a measure to deny Obamacare benefits to people who came here unlawfully. It is also why Warner and other Congressional Democrats refuse to take any steps to change the law to allow immediate deportation of the tidal wave of Central American children they fully expect will never actually have to leave this country. Instead, they are holding such action hostage for the bigger prize: the pathway to citizenship for the millions of other illegal immigrants already here.
Peggy Noonan at the Wall Street Journal calls this out for what it is:
There is every sign [Obama] let the crisis on the border build to put heat on Republicans and make them pass his idea of good immigration reform. It would be ‘comprehensive,’ meaning huge, impenetrable and probably full of mischief. His base wants it. It would no doubt benefit the Democratic Party in the long term.
The little children in great danger, holding hands, staring blankly ahead, are pawns in a larger game. That game is run by adults. How cold do you have to be to use children in this way?
Mark Warner should be ashamed to be complicit in such a scheme. There are compassionate, humane ways to address immigration. We simply MUST engage in that discussion. But dangling incentives for children to go through the hellish and dangerous journey into this country, and to delight in the flouting of the rule of law in making that happen, is inexcusable and wrong.
The May 4, 2012 letter from Texas Governor Rick Perry to President Obama is below.