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Thread: Amid tide of unaccompanied minors at U.S.-Mexico border, ICE Air busy

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  1. #1
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    Amid tide of unaccompanied minors at U.S.-Mexico border, ICE Air busy

    Posted: 6:13 p.m. Saturday, July 12, 2014

    CONTINUING COVERAGE BORDER SECURITY

    Amid tide of unaccompanied minors at U.S.-Mexico border, ICE Air busy

    By Lynn Brezosky,William Luther
    San Antonio Express-News

    SAN ANTONIO —

    One by one, some striding in flip-flops, others walking with shoulders hunched and fists in pockets — and one or two in what appeared to be handcuffs — the youths stepped out of the rear of an MD-82 jetliner that had landed at Port San Antonio’s Kelly Field.

    Directed by casually uniformed officials, the youths headed for waiting buses with darkened windows. The officials then got back on the plane, and the buses drove toward Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland.


    At the Air Force base, children were taking turns playing soccer on impromptu fields outside the military dorms used to house some of the flood of young Central American immigrants who came north for a chance at the American dream.


    They were passengers on “ICE Air,” a low-profile but increasingly busy air carrier that uses San Antonio as one of its main hubs.


    Run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement, ICE Air uses a fleet of charter planes — this particular one owned by Orange Air LLC, a relatively new charter operation that has been kept busy flying between stops in Texas, Arizona and California.


    Since October, more than 52,000 unaccompanied Central American minors have been taken into custody after crossing the border.


    Although the youth immigration crisis is only recently making headlines, ICE Air has been around for years, providing air transport between ICE Enforcement and Operations’ 24 field offices and “hub cities” such as San Antonio; Mesa, Ariz.; Alexandria, La.; and Miami.


    News media in 2008 and 2009 widely reported about the U.S. government-paid flights — with box lunches the main passenger amenity — to take adult immigrants back home, primarily to El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras.


    In addition to using seats on commercial flights, ICE Air has since 2006 used charters to deport hundreds of thousands of people to their home countries.


    During fiscal 2013, ICE Air transported 189,000 people to 16 countries, conducting an average of 43 charter flights a week to foreign and domestic locations. The cost per flight hour has been reported at about $8,300.


    With the surge of unaccompanied minors taking the gamble that they’ll at worst be sent home after a years-long process, there have been even more ICE flights.


    “In speaking with our officers assigned to ICE Air Operations, ICE’s air transportation arm, air transports have been so heavily used during the crisis that two additional planes have already been leased, and still more could be utilized,” Chris Crane, president of the labor group National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council 118, said while testifying June 25 before the House Judiciary Committee.


    But according to a recent update by U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar, D-Laredo, none of the surge of unaccompanied minors has been sent home. Rather, there’s been stepped-up deportation of Central American adults. Cuellar said there currently are at least 20 to 25 flights a week, each carrying 135 adults.


    While ICE has been scrambling to transport minors with commercial, charter, and Coast Guard and Homeland Security aircraft, that movement has been between U.S. destinations.


    Orange Air didn’t return a call about the company’s work with ICE, but flight records showed as many as six flights a day for its plane since mid-June, all to or from the border states of Texas, Arizona and California with at least one flight to Lawton-Fort Sill in Oklahoma, which also has a facility for unaccompanied youths.


    On June 26, the plane traveled from Brownsville to Tucson, Ariz.; Tucson to McAllen; McAllen to El Paso; El Paso to Brownsville; Brownsville to Tucson; and Tucson to McAllen.


    “They’re just moving them around to places where they can house them till they figure out what to do next,” said Ira Mehlman of the Federation for AmericanImmigration Reform, which favors increased immigration enforcement. “At this point, they’re scrambling to find places to put them around the country, and nobody seems to want them. And not because they don’t have compassion, but because it comes with enormous expense.”


    Harris County officials said unaccompanied minors were being flown into George Bush Intercontinental Airport after protesters in Murrieta, Calif., blocked buses carrying immigrants to a processing station.


    “When you have unaccompanied minors, you become obligated not just for the education but for all kinds of services, everything from feeding to housing,” Mehlman said. “We don’t expect 10-year-olds to take care of themselves.”


    U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics show the number of unaccompanied children crossing into the Rio Grande Valley sector alone has ballooned 178 percent so far this fiscal year compared to the year-ago period. The fiscal year starts in October.


    In attempt to stem the flow, the Obama administration has been trumpeting the message that there are no “permits” given to those who cross the border, and that the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals act, which spares youths brought here as children from deportation, doesn’t apply to recent arrivals.

    http://www.statesman.com/news/news/a...ico-bor/ngd4n/

    Last edited by JohnDoe2; 07-12-2014 at 09:25 PM.
    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

  2. #2
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    How long now has the 52,000 number for alien youths been tossed around now. It has grown. Using the best numbers I can gt to do a comparison estimate, it must be 56,000 by now, conservatively.. If media wants to maintain credibility they need to report current information.

    It's becoming like the 11 million aliens in the country, that number has been used since many left during the great recession, so they keep using the number that was revised down. Its back up, but never reported how far up

    Where in America can you find truth? It keeps getting more difficult!

  3. #3
    Super Moderator Newmexican's Avatar
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    It will be like the 11 million number and it will never change.
    working4change likes this.

  4. #4
    Senior Member JohnDoe2's Avatar
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    NO AMNESTY

    Don't reward the criminal actions of millions of illegal aliens by giving them citizenship.


    Sign in and post comments here.

    Please support our fight against illegal immigration by joining ALIPAC's email alerts here https://eepurl.com/cktGTn

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