GOP/Dem Spending Deal Provides Amnesty Pipeline for MS-13 Gang

February 14, 2019

John Binder

A Republican-Democrat spending bill being offered to President Trump provides a de facto amnesty pipeline for all illegal alien household members of MS-13 gang members who arrive in the United States as “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UACs).

As part of a bipartisan “compromise” spending package, lawmakers included provisions that prevent federal immigration officials from deporting anyone who has close contact with UACs who are readily resettled throughout the U.S. with so-called “sponsors” after being trafficked across the southern border.

These sponsors are often times illegal alien relatives, in many cases parents, of UACs. Federal officials have repeatedly noted how the UAC program has been widely used by the MS-13 gang to import more gang members into the country.

Last year, New York City Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) official Angel Melendez said there are roughly 22,000 UAC “potential recruits” who are resettled across the country every year out of about 40,000 total UACs. These are mostly young men trafficked across the southern border from Central America, especially El Salvador.
The Trump administration has cracked down the UAC program slightly, often detaining and deporting illegal aliens who file to sponsor the young migrants.

Trump's deputies are arresting more of the US-based illegals/parents who hire cartels to smuggle their children up to US cities. The arrests shrink the US-exit of the 'UAC' pipeline even as more UACs to arrive. Obvs, biz & Democrats oppose the arrests.

— Neil Munro (@NeilMunroDC) December 11, 2018

Under the spending bill offered to Trump, though, this policy would be banned. The compromise deal prohibits ICE officials from detaining or deporting “a sponsor, potential sponsor, or member of a household of a sponsor or potential sponsor” of any UAC who has been trafficked across the border.

Such a measure would provide a legal shield, or de facto amnesty, to anyone claiming to be part of a household that is sponsoring a UAC, even those affiliated with the MS-13 gang.

Pro-American immigration reformers are blasting the provision as a “poison pill” that would incentivize massive flows of young illegal aliens across the U.S.-Mexico border from Central America.

“Lots of bad but swallowable stuff in $ bill. But Sec.224 is a poison pill: Gives deportation immunity to any sponsor—or POTENTIAL sponsor—of an “unaccompanied” alien child,” Center for Immigration Studies Executive Director Mark Krikorian wrote online. “Creates incentive for illegals already here to order up kids from Central America (or anywhere). Outrageous.”

As @JessicaV_CIS notes, there is a serious amnesty/sanctuary provision snuck into the spending bill.

Section 224(a) would make it so ICE cannot detain or remove anyone who has effectively any kind of relationship (even just as a "potential sponsor") with any unaccompanied minor:

— Center for Immigration Studies (@CIS_org) February 14, 2019

The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) released a scathing take on the amnesty pipeline provision:

When we have a UAC crisis unlike anything we've ever seen, will some 55 miles in new barriers have been worth it?

$1.375 billion in border barrier funding is not worth making policy worse.
— FAIR (@FAIRImmigration) February 14, 2019
'Border compromise' has a big price: turns unaccompanied minors into Golden Ticket for parents — King Midas — relatives/sponsors can't be removed from the U.S.
— FAIR (@FAIRImmigration) February 14, 2019

Center for Immigration Studies Director of Policy Jessica Vaughan offered a similar take on the amnesty pipeline provision, calling it “ridiculous” in an online post:

Here's a gem from the spending bill. Section 224 (a) says that ICE may not remove any sponsor or *potential sponsor* or *member of a household* of a UAC. That's de facto sanctuary for anyone near a UAC. Ridiculous. 30-40% of MS-13 arrests have been UACs.

— Jessica Vaughan (@JessicaV_CIS) February 14, 2019

Fox News’ Laura Ingraham scorched the spending package, writing online that Trump “wasn’t elected” to sign such a measure:

This bill must NOT be signed by @realDonaldTrump.

— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 14, 2019
This bill is tantamount to an illegal immigration “stimulus” — de facto amnesty to any “sponsor,” family member or “potential sponsor” of an unaccompanied minor. #ChainMigrationAmnesty
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 14, 2019

The UAC program has resettled close to 13,000 young migrants across the U.S. in the last three months of 2018, alone. Assuming that each of these UACs was resettled in a household where at least two illegal aliens reside, this would account for a de facto amnesty for about 26,000 illegal aliens.

Nearly 35,000 UACs were resettled in the U.S. in Fiscal Year 2018, with the vast majority going to live with sponsors in California, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Tennessee, and Virginia.

Illegal immigration at the southern border is expected to reachlevels that have not been seen since President George W. Bush if reforms are not implemented this year. Researchers project, at current rates, there will be more than 600,000 illegal aliens apprehended at the border this year. In December 2018, there were about 51,000 border crossers apprehended and 52,000 apprehended in November 2018. This is a two-month border crosser population that exceeds the total population of Tuscaloosa, Alabama.