There is a crisis at the southern border brought about by President Biden’s reversal of Trump administration enforcement policies, combined with a resumption of the "catch and release" policy that gives apprehended illegal aliens exactly what they want — access to the interior of the country. As my colleague Art Arthur and I have previously written, the parents are active participants in the current unaccompanied alien children (UAC) smuggling scheme.
This observation is neither new nor novel. As federal district judge Andrew Hanen noted in 2013 during the Obama-administration-fueled UAC crisis:
This is the fourth case with the same factual situation this Court has had in as many weeks. In all the cases, human traffickers who smuggled minor children were apprehended short of delivering the children to their ultimate destination. In all cases, a parent, if not both parents, of the children was in this country illegally. That parent initiated the conspiracy to smuggle the minors into the country illegally. He or she also funded the conspiracy. In each case, the DHS completed the criminal conspiracy, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, by delivering the minors into the custody of the parent living illegally in the United States.
Arthur argued that the parents — who are most likely already in the country unlawfully — are funding the smuggling of their children to the border, and it is long past time for the U.S. government to prosecute them.
In light of the revelation that the Biden administration is not requiring FBI fingerprint background checks on the adult “caregivers” being hired at emergency Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) sites that house UACs, I will go a step further than Arthur and calling for prosecuting the U.S. government for its complicity in human smuggling.
This is not hyperbole. As Laura Nodolf, the district attorney in Midland, Texas, where HHS opened an emergency site in March, warned about the lack of thorough fingerprint vetting, “We truly do not know who the individual is who is providing direct care.” She added, “That’s placing the children under care of HHS in the path, potentially, of a sex offender. [The Biden administration is] putting these children in a position of becoming potential victims.”
These same concerns are applicable to the sponsors to whom HHS subsequently releases UACs after processing. In the absence of thorough vetting, there is no telling how many bad actors are posing at relatives to gain custody of UACs to further the human smuggling operation.
Under U.S. immigration law, human smuggling is a serious offense. An alien who at any time knowingly encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the United States in violation of law is inadmissible. Similarly, an alien is removable if he or she encouraged, induced, assisted, abetted, or aided any other alien to enter or to try to enter the U.S. in violation of the law at time of any entry or within five years of any entry. That’s not all; substantial criminal penalties (prison time and fines) also apply (to citizens or aliens) under section 274 of the Immigration and Nationality Act, depending on the specifics of the alien smuggling.
Whether the Biden administration is hand-delivering UACs to their illegal alien parents or callously exposing UACs to human smugglers themselves, it is irrefutable that the U.S. government has become a key partner in a cruel international human smuggling operation. Consequences should attach to this illegal and harmful behavior.