Thursday, July 24, 2014


Sauerbrey: Undocumented children at the border are not 'refugees'

By Ellen Sauerbrey, Baltimore Sun Op Ed, July 24, 2014

I read with interest Dan Rodricks' column, "World's refugee crisis comes to the U.S. and Maryland" (July 22). He describes the current flow of Central Americans across our southern border as the "biggest refugee crisis since World War II."

Having served during the Bush administration as assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration, I need to challenge Mr. Rodricks' commentary.

First, the thousands of people pouring into the U.S. today are not refugees. The 1951 Refugee Convention clearly spells out that a refugee is someone who "owing to a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality, and is unable to, or owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country." Few if any of the new arrivals fit that description.

Some claim that the recent flood of migrants pouring into the U.S. has been caused by violence in Central American countries. Unfortunately crime, drugs and violence have long been a way of life in these countries; however the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime statistics actually show a decline in homicide rates in El Salvador Honduras and Guatemala.

According to interviews with our new "guests," the primary reason for the current migration to the United States is widely circulating rumors in home countries that unaccompanied children and adult females traveling with minors will be given free passes allowing them to stay. They are no different than millions of people living in poverty and violence around the world who would like to come to the United States to pursue a better life and economic opportunity.
Refugees and migrants are treated very differently under modern international law. Migrants, especially economic migrants, choose to move in order to improve the future prospects of themselves and their families. Refugees have to move in order to save their lives or preserve their freedom.

U.S. refugee policy is focused foremost on creating situations that allow refugees to return home, which most hope to do one day. We provide humanitarian assistance to countries giving refugee asylum, in some cases for decades. In most countries refugees are kept in bleak refugee camps and are not free to move around the country. Only a tiny percentage of the world's refugees, who have no hope of repatriation, are resettled permanently in the U.S.

In recent years, our resettlement quota has been set at around 50,000 to 70,000 annually. Unlike the current migrants violating our border, refugees who are accepted for resettlement must first have undergone extensive background security checks to ensure that they pose no threat to America. Refugee applicants must clear all required security checks prior to final approval of their application, including biographical name checks for all refugee applicants and fingerprint checks for refugee applicants aged 14 to 79.

We know nothing of the identity or background of most of the illegal migrants currently being given easy entry to the U.S and flown and bussed around the country by the current administration. Those who believe that most will show up at a future hearing to determine if they should be granted asylum are delusional.

Ellen Sauerbrey is former assistant secretary of state for the Bureau of Population, Refugees and Migration.

Ben Ferro

Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Does Pride Keep the President From Learning From History?

Border Lessons From Bush

By Jason L. Riley

Two Texas lawmakers, Republican Sen. John Cornyn and Democratic Rep. Henry Cuellar, are the latest to introduce legislation intended help address the crisis on the Mexican border. The president has requested additional funds for curbing the illegal crossings, and the bill provides some useful preconditions for congressional approval of the funds.

The New York Times explains the key provisions of the measure. "The Cornyn-Cuellar bill, known as the Humane Act, would allow children from Central American countries to opt to be voluntarily sent home, as migrant children from Mexico and Canada can currently choose," writes the paper. "It also would allow children with a legal claim for remaining in the country to make their case before an immigration judge within seven days of undergoing a screening by the Department of Homeland Security. Judges would then have 72 hours to decide whether the child can remain in the country with a sponsor while pursing legal action."

The current process for determining whether an unaccompanied minor from a country other than Mexico or Canada can stay can take years, which provides an incentive for foreigners to send children north and hope for the best. Any reform being contemplated by the White House or Congress ought to address that perverse incentive.

The U.S. faced a similar challenge in the mid-2000s, when border patrol was caught unawares by a surge of Brazilian illegals. The Bush administration determined that word had gotten back to Brazil that people apprehended at the border would be released and able to stay, so the Department of Homeland Security initiated an operation dubbed "Texas Hold 'Em."

Homeland Security Secretary Michael Chertoff explained the results during a Senate hearing in 2005. "We prioritized the existing space, dedicated bed space and began detaining and removing all of the illegal Brazilians we apprehended," said Mr. Chertoff.

"The word spread surprisingly swiftly; within its first thirty days, the operation had already begun to deter illegal border crossings by Brazilians. In fact, the number of Brazilians apprehended dropped by 50%. After 60 days, the rate of Brazilian illegal immigration through this sector was down 90%, and it is still significantly depressed all across the border. In short, we learned that a concentrated effort of removal can actually discourage illegal entries by non-Mexicans on the southwest border."

If the Obama administration is serious about fixing the problem instead of using the issue to score political points, it will send the same message to Guatemala that the previous administration sent to Brazil. The sending countries are responding to incentives, so let's put the right incentives in place.

Article originally printed in the Wall Street Journal

Ben Ferro

Tuesday, July 15, 2014

A Peak Behind the Curtain

Analysis of the Supplemental Budget Request

A peek at what's behind the White House’s border "surge"

By Dan Cadman, July 2014

On July 8, the White House submitted its emergency budget request to the House of Representatives (which holds the "power of the purse" under our Constitution) to deal with the "humanitarian crisis" on our southern border.

The budget request, which totals $3.7 billion, immediately drew flack from many representatives who called it a blank check. Responding in the media, White House Director of the Domestic Policy Council Cecilia Munoz said that Congress cannot have it both ways: criticizing the administration while withholding the funding to effectively handle the crisis.

Having studied the request, it seems clear to me that it is the White House that wants it both ways.

In this regard, it is noteworthy that Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Secretary Jeh Johnson, when interviewed July 6 on NBC's "Meet the Press", repeatedly demurred when pressed by frustrated host David Gregory to say whether or not all — or indeed any — of the unaccompanied alien children (UACs) would ever be returned.

Johnson did say that, "With regards to adults who are bringing their children, we're bringing on additional detention capacity. We're turning that population of people around quicker." But nothing in either the specifics of the budget request, or what fragmentary statistical information the government has released about adults who have arrived as a part of the surge, shows even that statement to be true.

While administration leaders publicly claim they are working to effectively stem the tide of arrivals and ensure their speedy removal, everything about the budget request suggests this is more about resettlement, prolonging removal proceedings into infinity, and then quietly letting the tens of thousands of most recent arrivals recede into the woodwork of society to join the more than 840,000 aliens who are already fugitives from immigration courts around the country.

Reciting the entire litany of questionable items that pop out at me when I read the request is beyond the boundaries of a blog. But here are a few of the things that garnered my attention and concern:

Of the $3.7 billion being requested, fully $1.8 billion (about 49 percent of the total) is for resettlement costs to be appropriated to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — not just for the UACs, but for entire family units, including adult men and women. There is no reason to think that the accommodations will be temporary, insofar as the funds include authorization "for acquisition, construction, improvement, repair, operation, and maintenance of real property and facilities."

There is a "general provision" in the request which, under the guise of limiting reprogramming or reallocating of funds once appropriated, in fact gives the administration the right to move as much as 30 percent of the monies around as they choose. (Past history suggests that such reprogramming is usually limited to 10 percent of appropriated funds, unless specifically approved by Congress.)

The Department of Justice (DOJ) would be given $15 million to hire attorneys to defend the UACs against deportation in removal proceedings before an immigration judge. An additional $1.1 million would be given to DOJ for "immigration litigation attorneys" who, presumably, would assist alien adults in their proceedings. It is clear that such litigation attorneys are not prosecutors, who are called "trial attorneys" and work for DHS, not DOJ. In essence, Congress is being asked to approve the executive branch's violation of the law. Section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act specifically prohibits representation of aliens in immigration proceedings at government expense.

Much of the so-called "enforcement" portion of the budget is not truly geared toward removal; rather, it is a recouping of costs for temporary detention and subsequent transporting of aliens (including adults) to facilitate their resettlement and relocation by HHS. (It is noteworthy that, according to a leaked Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Office of Intelligence document, fully 47 percent of the arrivals are adults, who should be subjected to expedited removal, not to relocation and resettlement.)

A meager $109 million is being requested to facilitate anti-smuggling investigative efforts, which, according to Secretary Johnson's statements and testimony in other venues, are supposed to be one of the crown-jewels in his 14-point plan to stem the surge. In any case, such efforts are destined to limited success. This is because the United States has very little influence over ineffectual or corrupt police and military services in the source and transit countries, to ensure that they root out criminal gangs responsible for the smuggling. On the U.S. side, the ones responsible for predicating the effort through contact with, and payment to, the gangs are often the parents or other relatives of those being smuggled and, rather than investigate and prosecute such individuals to the full extent of the law, the government instead acts as the ultimate delivery agent, passing along the smuggled-but-apprehended alien to the people who paid to have him or her smuggled. And at the border proper, the ones who act as the guides for groups being smuggled are low-level nothings; the equivalent of mules. They are easily replaceable and their capture disrupts nothing.

So the government takes a hands-off approach to the UACs being smuggled, and after a few days of detention and make-work processing, passes them over to the ones who initiated the venture; it then takes a hands-off approach to the people who want to take possession of the ready-for-release smuggled UACs and families (even if those people are themselves illegal aliens). It's a closed circle of illogic. Little will come of any anti-smuggling program, except to permit the secretary to say he's fulfilling his 14-point plan. Perhaps that is why the administration isn't spending much more than chump change on the effort.

It's no wonder that many in Congress are balking at being asked to go along with such a Potemkin village approach to the problem, one that the White House saddled itself with by reason of its fecklessness where respect for the rule of immigration law is concerned.

Reprinted from

Dan Cadman is a former colleague and a good friend. He retired from INS / ICE with thirty years of government experience. Dan served as a senior supervisor and manager at headquarters, as well as at field offices both domestically and abroad.

Within the immigration law enforcement field, Dan’s knowledge and experience encompass, among other things, criminal aliens, employer sanctions, and national security and terrorism matters. see An Introduction To Dan Cadman

Ben Ferro

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

Now They Want To Designate Them As Refugees!

It has come to our attention that there is a broad movement afoot in the media and in some Administration quarters to designate the thousands of illegal alien children who have flooded into this country from Central America as refugees based upon claims that they are all fleeing from crime and poverty in their home nations!


Refugee status? Let me remind you that the term "refugee" for the purpose of this issue, is a legal term which is specifically defined by Federal Regulation. These regulations require that, to be classified as a Refugee based on past persecution, a person must establish that he or she has suffered persecution in the past in their home country based on race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion (Title 8, Code of Federal Regulations, § 208.13(b)(1)(iii)(A).

Additionally, the Board of Immigration Appeals, the highest administrative appellate authority for ruling on requests for asylum and refugee status in the U.S., has already officially ruled that Honduran street children, who fear street crime, or who are fleeing from poverty are not members of a social group eligible for refugee status.

We are deeply concerned based on the past free wheeling practices of  the Administration, that suggesting a broad use of the term "Refugee" may be a foot in the door effort to redefine eligibility for such status. Be forewarned.


For More Information on the Movement to classify these children as Refugees, Please See:


Illegal Aliens Stream Across Our "Secure" Borders

The Silent Invasion 
Children Entering The US Illegally
More Children Wait To Enter The US Illegally

Ben Ferro

Saturday, July 5, 2014


Remember This Speech?

Crossing the border is like a stroll in the park with a coyote!

“teenagers with refreshments" being escorted across the border.

More children crossing illegally with the help of “friendly” adults

This is not the train from Pakistan to Delhi, it's Mexico to the US!!


Ben Ferro

Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Immigration Reform? White House Style!

Remember the 37,457 Criminal Aliens ordered released by the White House Last Year? 

Where are they now?

Living in your city? Living in your neighborhood? Living next door?
Just to refresh you memory, here are the lists of their criminal violations:
  • 2,827 convicted sex offenders
  • 193 homicide convictions (including one willful killing of a public official with gun)
  • 303 kidnapping convictions
  • 1,075 aggravated assault convictions
  • 1,160 stolen vehicle convictions
  • 9,187 dangerous drug convictions
  • 16,070 drunk or drugged driving convictions
  • 303 flight escape convictions

We have asked the White House and Homeland Security to provide us with the addresses to which these Criminal aliens were released. (Regulations require that before such persons can be released that they furnish a specific address where they can be contacted.) Our Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request made to the Government is not expected to be acted on for months or years, if ever.

In the meantime, our sources have provided us with the following data:

-36-           Number of States in the U.S. where these Criminal aliens have indicated they will reside.

-287-         Number of Cities in the U.S. where these Criminal aliens have indicated they will reside.

?? Which States ??

?? Which Cities ??

?? Which streets, which neighborhoods ??

The government has an obligation to tell us, and we have a right to know!!

Ben Ferro