Uncle Sam: Coyote?!

Are those in charge of controlling the immigration across the southern US border in fact aiding and abetting the movement across that border of undocumented immigrants? Are these agents of the federal government aiding the “coyotes” who are hired to smuggle individuals into the country in violation of current immigration law?

One judge in Texas answers both questions with a “yes”.

Federal Judge Andrew S. Hanen of the Southern District of Texas wrote in part of a 10-page order in a case involving the trial of human smugglers in his courtroom that by delivering the undocumented minor daughter of an undocumented Salvadoran woman living in Virginia to her mother, “The DHS, instead of enforcing our border security laws, actually assisted the criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals. It completed the mission of the conspiracy initiated by Salmeron Santos. In summary, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, the government took direct steps to help the individuals who violated it. A private citizen would, and should, be prosecuted for this conduct.”

This case and others like it highlight a growing problem along the border of what the government terms unaccompanied alien children, or UACs. These young children present sympathetic cases, just as do those already in the country, known as Dreamers, after the Dream Act legislation. President Obama last year announced a new policy to halt deportations of those young illegal immigrants, arguing they were brought to the U.S. by their parents with no say in the decision, and so should be allotted special treatment. Supporters of the halt to the deportations argue that “the vast majority…pose no threat to public safety.” While this may be true, Judge Hanen wrote, “the DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation/exportation. Legally, this situation is no different.”

So, the question is this: Is Uncle Sam playing the part of a co-conspirator in the “coyote’s” smuggling operation or merely acting with compassion in a series of difficult cases which are part of a highly controversial issue?


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