In a letter to Attorney General Loretta Lynch, Alabama Sens. Jeff Sessions and Richard Shelby said that illegal-alien minors are again surging across the border but “only a small fraction have been removed from the United States." At least 60 percent of such minors in 2014 and 2015 should have been deported because they did not qualify for placement in the U.S. as “unaccompanied alien children’ under the law.
Sens. Sessions and Shelby wrote Lynch objecting to plans to house new surge aliens at an Alabama naval air station. In the letter, published in the Washington Examiner, they wrote, "Transporting some of these juveniles more than 900 miles away from our southern border to the State of Alabama, instead of expeditiously and humanely sending them back to their homes, will only make the situation worse. It rewards illegal conduct, and arguably renders the United States complicit in criminal conspiracies to violate our immigration laws."
The criminal conspiracies the duo mention involve efforts by family members to bring the minors into the United States illegally. The letter said, "According to the Government Accountability Office, between January 7, 2014, and April 17, 2015, ORR [Office of Refugee Resettlement] released illegal alien juveniles from its custody to a parent in 60 percent of all cases, an aunt or uncle in 13 percent, a sibling in 12 percent, an 'other relative' in 3 percent, a first cousin in 2 percent, and a grandparent in 1 percent of all cases. Thus, in roughly 91 percent of all cases, these juveniles are eventually released to the custody of a family member located in the United States. However, this administration has failed to take any enforcement action against these family members – most of whom had some role to play in the juveniles' illegal entry into the United States. And many of those family members are present in the United States unlawfully."
The letter continues by noting the Administration wrongfully placed alien minors around the country under the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 (TVPRA). “Pursuant to the TVPRA, an ‘unaccompanied alien child’ who is apprehended by the Department of Homeland Security must be transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services, which is then responsible for their care and [placement]. However, the TVPRA defines an unaccompanied alien child…as an individual who has no lawful immigration status in the United States, who is under 18, and with respect to whom ‘there is no parent or legal guardian in the United States,’ or ‘no parent or legal guardian in the United States is available to provide care and physical custody.’ While it is unclear how many non-parent family members are legal guardians, in at least 60 percent of these cases there is a parent in the United States who can provide care and physical custody of the juveniles – meaning that arguably, they should have never been placed into ORR custody, never should have been released to the custody of their parents, and could have been expeditiously and humanely sent back home.”
Read more in the Washington Examiner.
Updated: Thu, Jul 28th 2016 @ 10:30am EDT