The press release said:
WASHINGTON — United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced new policies that will provide better protection to immigrant children who are victims of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or similar parental maltreatment.
What they really meant to say goes something like this:
USCIS today announced new policies that will provide a specialized amnesty (not supported by Congress) to a group of largely illegal aliens into their twenties, mostly from the Northern Triangle (El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras) who claim abuse, neglect, abandonment, or similar parental maltreatment.
And just to make sure that the parents cannot upset the individual amnesties, which they probably favor, any parents showing up at hearings of these cases are not going to be allowed to say a word or (apparently) be examined by USCIS personnel. (If one of my children charged me with parental abuse I would hope to have a chance to defend myself.)
Among the fourth preference, employment-based migrants there is a special category called special immigrant juveniles (SIJ) for young people who claim that their parents were unkind to them; this is a numerically limited group, but the provision is little used around the world. There are no backlogs for any nations but those in the Northern Triangle, and those are now five years long.
This suggests one of two possibilities:
- Parents from the Northern Triangle are more beastly, much more beastly, than those from the rest of the world; or
- The government, aided by other mass-migration forces, is using this provision in the law to provide legal status to a not-very-distinguished population that cannot get legal status in any other way.
I suggest the second is more likely than the first.
Let me again quote the press release and offer a translation of it:
The new policies include updating regulations to clarify Special Immigrant Juvenile (SIJ) eligibility criteria such as updating an age-out provision to protect petitioners who turn 21 while their petition is pending.
Congress said you have to be under 21 to get these benefits, but we the administration have overruled Congress — you must be under 21 when you file the papers, but you can be any age when we get around to your case.
So lots of young adults from Central America are getting legal status through this convoluted channel. What the government should do, but won’t, is to use Social Security and law enforcement records to determine the employment and crime records of this group and compare the data to that of immigrants generally. If they work less and engage in crime more often — which might or might not be the case — then maybe Congress should abandon this part of the immigration law.