Obama Administration Illegal Immigration Prevention Spending in Central America Backfires, Entices Migrants

Immigration-agent

Predictable Catastrophe: Money Squandered as Confusing and Lenient Policies Encourage Border Crossings

The U.S. government paid for a classroom full of computers in El Salvador, but the Salvadoran government never bothered to hire a teacher, investigators said Wednesday — one of a series of bungles in the Obama administration’s plan to flood Central America with U.S. money to try to stem another surge of illegal immigration.

“Carrying out ineffective campaigns could lead to higher levels of migration to the United States, which is not only potentially costly in terms of U.S. taxpayer resources but costly and dangerous to the migrants and their families.”

— The GAO, in its report

In an expansive report on last summer’s surge, the Government Accountability Office said confusing and lenient U.S. policies pushed illegal immigrants to make the crossing, and even cited administration officials who said President Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty for so-called Dreamers did entice some of the surge.

President Barack Obama attempts to respond to Ju Hong (lower left), who began to heckle him about anti-deportation policies Monday at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Barack Obama attempts to respond to Ju Hong (lower left), who began to heckle him about anti-deportation policies at the Betty Ann Ong Chinese Recreation Center in San Francisco. Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

“Initially officials blamed dangerous and economically depressed conditions in three key Central American nations for pushing illegal immigrants north, but eventually Homeland Security officials admitted that confusing and lenient policies — at least as far as illegal immigrants were concerned — were serving as a magnet to draw illegal immigrants.”

Trying to get a handle on the flood, Mr. Obama has requested hundreds of millions of dollars to try to bolster society in Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador, the three countries chiefly responsible for the surge, but GAO investigators said corruption or incompetence among the Central American governments may hinder those efforts.

In the U.S., meanwhile, Homeland Security officials poured money into public relations campaigns to try to warn would-be crossers against attempting it, but the government has no idea if those efforts worked, the GAO said.

immigration-train

“The surge, which totaled nearly 70,000 children traveling without a parent in fiscal year 2014, plus more than 60,000 children and parents traveling together, overwhelmed the Obama administration, which was left struggling for answers.”

“Carrying out ineffective campaigns could lead to higher levels of migration to the United States, which is not only potentially costly in terms of U.S. taxpayer resources but costly and dangerous to the migrants and their families,” the GAO said in its report.

Both the State Department and Homeland Security admitted they need to do a better job collecting information and evaluating what they’re doing.

[Read the full story here, at the Washington Times]

The report comes a year after the surge of illegal immigrant children and families reshaped the immigration debate, drawing attention to a still-porous border and helping sidetrack President Obama’s hopes of getting Congress to approve a bill legalizing illegal immigrants already in the country.

The surge, which totaled nearly 70,000 children traveling without a parent in fiscal year 2014, plus more than 60,000 children and parents traveling together, overwhelmed the Obama administration, which was left struggling for answers.

Initially officials blamed dangerous and economically depressed conditions in three key Central American nations for pushing illegal immigrants north, but eventually Homeland Security officials admitted that confusing and lenient policies — at least as far as illegal immigrants were concerned — were serving as a magnet to draw illegal immigrants.

In Wednesday’s report, State Department officials in Guatemala said folks there believed that if they could get to the U.S. they could qualify for Mr. Obama’s 2012 deportation amnesty — known officially as Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA. In reality, that amnesty only applied to illegal immigrants who had been in the U.S. for some time already, though Mr. Obama has already announced a major expansion of the amnesty….(read more)

Washington Times


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