Wednesday, June 11, 2014

Putting a Face on Immigration Issues in Light of Eric Cantor's Historic Loss

What a difference a day makes!  In a stunning turn of events last night, Eric Cantor lost his primary to relatively-unknown challenger David Brat.  The Huffington Post, which yesterday led its email headlines with a smug banner reading, "Tea Party Facing Heavy Losses on Primary Day"  today led with a story asking Who the Heck Defeated Eric Cantor?

While everyone on both the right and the left tried to catch our collective breaths, pundits were immediately talking about the impact that Cantor's defeat will have on the future of immigration reform.  Fox News' Megyn Kelly speculated that Obama will use that famous pen and phone to act unilaterally, which is pretty much his consistent fallback plan every time he encounters any resistance. 

I think we can expect to see some executive orders, but the simple truth is that for all of his political posturing, Obama does not have the authority to rewrite the law as much as he would like.  The other truth, as I wrote yesterday, is that any executive order is a whole lot easier to get rid of than a law duly passed through Congress. So if we are going to see some action on this issue, it is better to have it be executive action than some massive piece of legislation amounting to a de facto amnesty to try to repeal down the road.

Whenever we talk about illegal immigration, we invariably hear a lot about "the children".  Conservatives and liberals tend to disagree about what we should do with children of illegal immigration. Eric Cantor's pro-illegal immigration statements certainly contributed to his loss yesterday.  Particularly, his statement about the U.S. wanting "the kids" sparked an outrage when we posted it on Facebook.  Only very recently have we begun to understand that the policies and statements of the Obama Administration are actually contributing to the very problem of illegal immigrant children.  There is an influx of illegal immigration among minor children prompted by their parents who are listening to our politicians and inferring that their children will get citizenship if they can just land on our soil.  The problem is growing exponentially, as we demonstrated in a poster yesterday on The Liberty Project:     

Proponents of the Dream Act, and any number of other initiatives to automatically grant citizenship to minor illegal aliens pretend that these proposals are based in compassion, but the truth is that they are leading to abuse, exploitation and abandonment of children on a scale we have not previously experienced.  Today, I want to put a face on these numbers--the face of one two-year old abandoned in the desert near Sunland Park, New Mexico on the night of Saturday December 6, 2013.

Border Patrol underground motion sensors detected foot steps in the desert area during the night of Saturday, December 6.  Agents who responded began following two sets of footprints and discovered the two-year old boy and a man who claimed to be his uncle hiding behind some brush.  When agents asked the man for his citizenship, the man fled back across the border abandoning the little boy. KVIA-TV (the local ABC News Affiliate) covered the story:

The little boy, who spoke only Spanish, identified himself as "Adrian".  Agents turned him over to the Las Cruces Police Department who then turned him over to child protective services.  

The case of "Adrian" was unusual even for our community because the child was so young. He was abandoned in a desert where temperatures are frequently below freezing at that time of year and lows in the low thirties are normal.  The stretch of desert between Anapra and Sunland Park, New Mexico, is a desolate area with relatively few inhabitants.  Packs of dogs and coyotes live in the desert along with poisonous snakes. The ways in which an unprotected toddler can die in such a place are almost too many to count. (Interestingly, in the KTSM story linked below, a resident of Anapra said that while she was very surprised to see a toddler abandoned there, she is accustomed to seeing children of six or seven years of age crossing the border alone.)

"Adrian" quickly became a top news story for the El Paso/Las Cruces/Juarez area as officials attempted to identify him and locate his family.  Due to intense coverage and photos that were circulated through official news outlets and social networking sites like Facebook, officials were able to locate his family within a few days.  Channel 9 News (the NBC affiliate) carried the story that through cooperation with the Mexican Consul, "Adrian"--whose name actually turned out to be Ruben, had been identified and would be reunited with his mother.  

Ruben's mother crossed the U.S-Mexico bridge to take her son back to Durango, Mexico.  She refused to answer any questions about how he arrived.  Authorities believe that the man who abandoned the child in the U.S. was a smuggler.  According to the reports, it is not unusual for smugglers to abandon children; it is also not unusual to hold them for ransom.  KVIA reporters were present for the reunion.

In many ways, "Adrian" was lucky.  Because he was so young, authorities made a concerted effort to track down his family and the amount of attention that the case received forced family members to come forward to claim him.

The story of "Adrian" is the natural outcome of the policies of an Administration that tells parents that their children can be used as human anchors to a land brimming with free social programs.  Far from compassionate, programs that encourage parents to abandon minor children and even infants to a foreign nation are in fact brutal and exploitative.  These government policies and programs are allowing parents to justify levels of abuse and neglect that would previously have been considered morally reprehensible.  

The next time you are discussing illegal immigration and someone tells you to "think of the children", show them a photo of "Adrian".  Then remind them that our government's misguided policies are not helping "the kids"; they are endangering their lives.

Alexandra Swann is the author of No Regrets: How Homeschooling Earned me a Master's Degree at Age Sixteen and several other books. Her novel, The Planner, about an out of control, environmentally-driven federal government implementing Agenda 21, is available on Kindle and in paperback. For more information, visit her website at

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