WASHINGTON, May 2, 2016 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Center for Immigration Studies has released a new report, "Welcoming Unaccompanied Alien Children to the United States", analyzing the Obama administration's persistent efforts to relocate the children of Central American illegal aliens to the United States. The report is online at http://cis.org/Welcoming-Unaccompanied-Alien-Children-to-the-United-States.
When the illegal flow of mostly teen-age boys from Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador across the border reached record levels in 2014, the administration at first tried to arrange for them to stay by presenting them as victims of trafficking. But for the immigration benefits of being trafficked to apply, there must be coercion and exploitation; this was not the case.
Next, the administration established the Central American Minors Refugee/Parole Program, to fly the young people directly to the United States. But this program requires that the family members to whom the children are delivered have some form of legal status in the U.S. Because the majority of the minors' family members in the U.S. are illegal immigrants, the program has not been widely used.
Thus the latest initiative: a new "family reunification program" specifically designed for illegal aliens and their children. In collaboration with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the administration is planning to enable illegal aliens to have their children brought to them in the U.S., with the minors labelled as "refugees." However, by the UN's own admission most of these children do not qualify as refugees.
The cost to American taxpayers of reuniting illegal aliens with the children they left behind is substantial. The FY 2017 budget request for the Unaccompanied Children (UC) program totals $1.321 billion, making the cost for one UAC likely to be more than $17,000. This is more than double the cost per UAC in 2010.
Nayla Rush, a senior researcher at the Center and author of the report, writes: "We can empathize with children wishing to reunite with family members who make it to the United States before them. … We can also, however, question this administration's policies and motives and wonder if it is in the best interest of the American people to welcome these children here. … We might even call this program what it really is: a family reunification program specially crafted for illegal aliens and their children under the cover of refugee resettlement."
Contact: Marguerite Telford
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SOURCE Center for Immigration Studies