WASHINGTON (WNEW/AP) — A Border Patrol agent claims that the federal government is allowing murderers from Central America to be released into the U.S.
Speaking to Fox News on Wednesday, agent Chris Cabrera stated that these teenage gang members crossing the border are being released to family members in the U.S.
“If they have family in the United States, they’ll release them to the family, even if they’re admitted gang members,” Cabrera explained to Fox News. “We’ve had a couple that had admitted to murders in their home country. They were 17 years old, 16 years old, and the United States government thought it fit to release them to their parents here in the United States.
“Even if he’s a confirmed gang member, a confirmed criminal even by self-admission, we for some reason don’t send them back to their home country, we release them into our country.”
Cabrera blamed these alleged gang members and murderers being released due to a “loophole.”
“They found a loophole with the unaccompanied women and children,” Cabrera told Fox News. “We don’t have anywhere to house these women and children and if the child has no family back in his home country, or claims he has no family back in his home country, we have to release him to a parent who is here.”
Cabrera added that morale among border agents is at an all-time low.
“Our agents aren’t allowed to do the job they were hired to do,” Cabrera told Fox News. “We’re walking more and more people out the door … they’re catch-and-release that have family units. The criminal aliens that are coming in, some of these young gang member kids that are coming in, and there’s no criminal history in the United States, we’re releasing them out the door and more and more it gets frustrating.”
More than 57,000 children, most from Central America, entered the U.S. illegally between October and June without a parent or guardian. That was more than double the number who arrived over the same period a year earlier.
Cabrera’s comments come as Vice President Joe Biden said that the United States will be judged by how it treats the thousands of young immigrants showing up on its border. Biden warned, though, that the U.S. will be forced to send some minors back to dangerous, unfortunate environments nonetheless.
“These are not somebody else’s kids. These are our kids,” Biden said.
Appealing to lawyers to help represent unaccompanied minors, Biden said it would be a difficult task for an overburdened legal system to assess whether children apprehended on the border meet the criteria for refugee status and whether returning them would risk their physical demise.
At the same time, he said it’s not feasible for the U.S. to let children stay here just because they would be better off in the U.S. than in their home countries.
“Judges are going to be sending some kids back to environments that aren’t’ as good even as the facilities they’re living in,” Biden said, referring to detention facilities the U.S. has hastily set up to house the influx of immigrants. But their circumstances “will not meet the standards of asylum.”
Biden’s remarks to people in the legal services community reflected the sense of urgency the Obama administration sees in securing legal representation for more than 57,000 unaccompanied children despite its inability to persuade Congress to agree on emergency funds to address the influx. The White House said fewer than half of those children currently have lawyers.
Biden said the key to stemming the surge is to address the root causes in violence-plagued Central American nations that are prompting parents to hand their children over to “unscrupulous” individuals to smuggle them over the border. Yet he lamented that domestic political concerns were preventing the leaders of those nations, who came to the White House last month to discuss the crisis, from taking the types of steps that Colombia has taken to curb narcotics and corruption under a U.S. assistance program known as Plan Colombia.
“Central American governments aren’t even close to being prepared to make some of the decisions the Colombians made, because they’re hard,” Biden said. “But the president and I are prepared.”