Rumors of U.S. Haven for Families Spur Rise in Illegal Immigration

Cindy Carcamo, Los Angeles Times, June 6, 2014

Yoselin Ramos had long wanted to trek to the United States to escape the crushing poverty and rising violence in her hometown in Guatemala.

But it wasn’t until the 24-year-old heard about a “new opportunity” that she packed a bag and left her home with her 3-year-old son, Yovani, for the treacherous journey north.

Ramos became part of an unprecedented surge of families crossing illegally into the U.S., drawn by reports circulating throughout Central America that parents with children are allowed to stay in the United States indefinitely, according to Guatemalan consular officials and parents who are making these trips. But these families, U.S. officials say, are getting only half the story.

The surge of single parents and children has surprised and overwhelmed border agents in the Southwest–particularly Texas–and flooded the Greyhound bus stations in Phoenix and Tucson over the last several months with hundreds of immigrant families dropped off there by U.S. immigration authorities who had nowhere else to put them.


The unusual situation represents not a change in policy but an attempt to accommodate the unexpected numbers, Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials said. {snip}

In 2008, immigration officials stopped placing parents traveling with their children at the T. Don Hutto Residential Center in Taylor, Texas, after allegations surfaced of human rights violations at the facility.

The fact that so many parents with children have been freed to travel within the U.S. has sent rumors flying through Central American nations that parents will not be detained in the U.S. if they arrive with a child–spurring even more families to launch the journey, according to immigrant advocates and Guatemalan consular officials in Phoenix who have been working to help find shelter for families stranded at bus stations.

“Desperate migrants from Central America may cling to any slim reed of hope. This false rumor of a ‘new opportunity’ is leading some to embark on a dangerous journey. They have no idea what they are facing. The smugglers are milking this situation for all it’s worth,” said Dan Kowalski, an immigration attorney in Austin, Texas.


ICE officials say that the immigrants are released as long as they can provide an address for their destination–with family or friends, no matter their legal status.

Ramos, who was apprehended in Texas after traveling there by bus and by foot, was flown to Arizona, then bused this week to Phoenix to join an informal encampment of migrant families that has sprung up at the bus terminal.

Ramos said she was with about 20 other families with children–some as young as a few months old–when apprehended. They had looked forward to being caught, she said–at one point even waving down federal helicopters–because of the welcoming treatment they had assumed they would receive.

Assuming that she would be allowed to remain in the U.S., Ramos was instead given paperwork ordering her to report June 17 to the ICE field office in Des Moines, near where her parents live, and allowed to board a bus to Iowa.

“It was disappointing,” she said. “I thought I would definitely be allowed to stay. I just want a good future for my son.”

Still, she said she plans to keep the appointment because she wants to give her case a chance.

ICE officials said they couldn’t guarantee that they would pursue all cases in which immigrants do not show up for follow-up appointments, but would examine each case to determine priorities.

Anti-illegal immigration activists have said the government’s posture is reminiscent of the 1990s “catch and release” policy.

That’s when most people who crossed the border illegally were released on bail or on their own recognizance, with an order to reappear at a later date. Many failed to show up for their hearings. The practice ended in 2006 during the George W. Bush administration.

ICE spokeswoman Virginia Kice said there has been no change in immigration policy and that it’s misleading to compare the current situation to catch and release.

“The individuals in this instance are being placed under some sort of supervision,” she said. In some cases, authorities said, conditions such as wearing ankle bracelets may be imposed, but usually only after the interviews with immigration officials 15 days after initial detention.


Topics: , ,

Share This

We welcome comments that add information or perspective, and we encourage polite debate. If you log in with a social media account, your comment should appear immediately. If you prefer to remain anonymous, you may comment as a guest, using a name and an e-mail address of convenience. Your comment will be moderated.
  • dd121

    You can’t sugar coat these illegals. The marxists in Washington are committing a revolutionary act against the American people. Why aren’t Republicans outraged and impeaching this guy.

    • Pro_Whitey

      Because many, like Eric Cantor, were promoting policies that would result in just this situation. However, impeachment is a useless exercise at this point, only good for putting a mark on BO’s record just like it was for Clinton. Still, given they are not getting anything else useful done, they might as well impeach him and have the trial.

      • Sick of it

        Cantor is simply fulfilling his tribal obligations.

      • Hallie Eva

        And, Pro, look at how much damage that scandalous passage did to Clinton’s image. None.
        If anything, Oboogabooga, by virtue of half blackness, is even more Teflon coated than the treacherous Clintons.

    • Einsatzgrenadier

      The elites believe that the wealth of the United States was stolen from the people of the third world. By inviting the third world to colonize the US, the elites think they’re rectifying past injustices through redistribution of American wealth on a global level. Marxist proletarian revolution has teamed up with Christian-influenced white guilt to produce the ultimate genocidal nightmare.

      • dd121

        I have never thought that bringing in 30 million illegals was about providing cheap labor. I have always thought the real agenda was to game the political system once and for all. That, in fact, is what is about to happen.

      • Whitetrashgang

        Come on now you its just the tribe trying to destroy us, its their only real job.

    • Hallie Eva

      Jawohl, mein Herr DD, but the media are aiding and abetting, adding to the sugar by calling these invaders “immigrants.” Time to call it as it is. This is an invasion.

  • D.B. Cooper

    Among Yoselin Ramos’s first steps once arriving here is to protest that there are not enough politicians, teachers, and police of Guatemalan descent.

  • A Freespeechzone

    This behavior, embolden by Obama, Holder & Congress will only hasten the demise of the country that many of our fathers, grandfathers and forefathers fought, sacrificed and died for the defense of the United States and its borders….

    Obama and his ilk DESPISE the sacrifice and the root principles that this country was founded upon and is doing his best, without much protest, to fundamentally change the social structure of this country by importing, with the promise of support of the most ignorant, stupid and non-contributing humans on Earth at our expense.

    Make NO mistake that those who still work will be burdened to support these illegals–and that Obama’s vision is to come after whatever wealth you have earned.

    Being complacent only emboldens him……remember that when they come after your assets…

    • The only demise this will hasten is that of the parasite class.
      You can bet on it.Defeat is not an option and neither is a retreat to some White Redoubt.Theres an ammo shortage for a reason my friend.

  • This is exactly what we need before the election.I’m lovin It !

  • Truth Teller

    One slogan I have heard from liberals is, “every mouthful of food in an American child’s mouth has been stolen from a 3rd world child.”

  • Multicultural fascist

    These poor children have been getting cold burritos and the eggs are making some of the children sick…. I think another 5 billion should cover this……… Cloward piven….