What Obama's Immigration Policies Encourage

By Kausha Luna, June 13, 2016

On Wednesday, Telemundo (a Spanish language news network) published an interview with an "unaccompanied minor" abandoned by a coyote.

Ashlyn Bonilla, the Honduran five-year-old, was abandoned in Texas after crossing the border with Mexico. Her mother, Belkis Garcia, paid $4,500 to have her daughter smuggled into the United States. Garcia left her daughter behind in Honduras when Ashlyn was seven months old.

The influx of so-called unaccompanied alien children (UACs) reached its peak during the summer of 2014. The number of apprehensions grew from 8,000 in FY 2008 to 69,000 in FY 2014. The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) anticipates these numbers will increase throughout FY 2016 and FY 2017, after a dip in FY 2015.

The video interview includes the following quotes from Ashlyn, which are woven in between clips of her reunion with her mother and brother:

  • "My aunt stayed over there, but they separated me and then I walked for ten, two hours alone"
  • "It's that my Aunt Carmen told someone to take care of me."
  • "It's that I came with someoneā€¦but there they found me, so I held their hand. Then, then they took me to immigration."

Telemundo has painted a picture of a warm and sweet family reunion. It is the same imagery that is touted and celebrated by open-border advocates, claiming the moral high ground. However, this narrative ignores the fact that Obama's lax enforcement policies -- that allow every child smuggled into the United States to remain -- have created the incentive for people to put their children in the hands of smugglers, whose only interest is profit.