Charles Krauthammer writes that there is an easy fix to stopping the wave of immigrant children flowing into the U.S. Eliminate the 2008 loophole that mandates that Central American kids receive special treatment. As Mr. Krauthammer asks, why has Mr. Obama not already gone to Congress demanding a change in the immigration law?
These kids are being flown or bused to family members around the country and told to then show up for deportation hearings. Why show up? Why not just stay where they’ll get superior schooling, superior health care, superior everything? As a result, only 3 percent are being repatriated, to cite an internal Border Patrol memo.
Repatriate them? How stone-hearted, you say. After what they’ve been through? To those dismal conditions back home?
By that standard, with a sea of endemic suffering on every continent, we should have no immigration laws. Deny entry to no needy person.
But we do. We must. We choose. And immediate deportation is exactly what happens to illegal immigrants, children or otherwise, from Mexico and Canada. By what moral logic should there be a Central American exception?
There is no logic. Just a quirk of the law — a 2008 law intended to deter sex trafficking. It mandates that Central American kids receive temporary relocation, extensive assistance and elaborate immigration/deportation proceedings, which many simply evade.
This leniency was designed for a small number of sex-trafficked youth. It was never intended for today’s mass migration aimed at establishing a family foothold in America.
Stopping this wave is not complicated. A serious president would go to Congress tomorrow proposing a change in the law, simply mandating that Central American kids get the same treatment as Mexican kids, i.e., be subject to immediate repatriation.