Letter: Trump offers solution to U.S. border situation

Published 8:00 pm Monday, September 2, 2019

Jennifer Vogt-Erickson responded to my recent My Point of View column with a letter to the editor, addressing her concerns about immigration policies. Regarding my comment about Republicans wanting to protect the migrants involved, particularly the children trafficked by people posing as family, she made the statement that “this explanation is false.” 

Recent DNA testing at the southern border has shown 19%-30% of adult migrants suspected of misrepresenting a family relationship with a minor were proven to be unrelated to the child. These are cases where the adult lied about being related to the child. I humbly argue there is reason to be concerned. 

Presently, migrants are incentivized to arrive at the border with a child because it is the easiest way to get in. Children can only be held for 20 days, and family units are generally released with them into the U.S. before being processed. According to the congressional testimony of Chief Border Patrol Agent Rodolfo Karisch, currently 50% of migrant males are arriving at the border with a child. This is up from less than 1% a few years ago, before the 20-day rule was applied to accompanied minors. Something is wrong. Karsich also stated he’s witnessed “recycled” children who are brought through the border multiple times. According to trafficking expert Tim Ballard, being recycled at the border is a “best case” trafficking scenario. The other real possibility is sex trafficking, for which the U.S. offers a profitable demand.

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Five thousand eight hundred fraudulent families have been detected, per the testimony of Customs and Border Protection Acting Commissioner Mark Morgan. How many pass through undetected?

Vogt-Erickson stated “the point of the (child separation) policy is cruelty.” Personally, I think sending a child off with a trafficker is pretty cruel. Assuming every case of separation involves real families is naive and ridiculous. Let’s remember trafficking victims have been separated from their families, probably permanently. Unfortunately, sometimes our kind nature is exploited against us, to the harm of the innocent involved.  How should trafficked children be protected? 

Immigrants do have the right to seek asylum outside their native country. But in the U.S., this must be done legally at a port of entry. Nobody has the right to break in between ports. Asylum claims must also be made for qualified and legitimate reasons. Currently, about 20% of asylum cases are ultimately approved. People without valid claims should not be encouraged to make the dangerous journey and contribute to overwhelming our system, harming legitimate asylum seekers. 

The left loses credibility on this topic when they refuse to actually prevent the crisis. Opening the border and abolishing ICE would exponentially increase danger to both American citizens and migrants. 

Conservatives cared about the crisis at the border long before the left decided it was politically expedient to do so. If we wish to prevent the heartache of both child trafficking and separation, President Trump offers a simple solution. Build the wall, secure the border, change bad policy and follow our rule of law.

Angie Hoffman

Albert Lea