The Cost of Keeping Undocumented Minors in the U.S.

PBS, September 3, 2014


JEFFREY BROWN: In our series, we have talked about the influx of unaccompanied minors with Border Patrol guards, immigration lawyers, ranchers and others, some living and working at the border, others, as with tonight’s guest, far away, 2,000 miles away in this case, in Bristol County, Massachusetts.

Thomas Hodgson is the sheriff there, and he joins us now.


And let me ask you the question we have asked our other guests first. Where specifically do you, as a sheriff in Southern Massachusetts, see and feel the impact of illegal immigration, specifically of unaccompanied minors?

THOMAS HODGSON, Bristol County, Massachusetts: Well, we have about 989 unaccompanied minors that have arrived in Massachusetts and been placed in foster care since January 1 through July 31 of this year.

And where we’re foreseeing the impact is in schools throughout our county and throughout the state, and, as well, we’re seeing it in the exploitation of these individuals when criminals are targeting them, knowing that, number one, they don’t speak the language, and, two, if they’re here illegally and they’re earning money somewhere, they’re probably getting paid cash.

And they’re being–they’re being exploited and being–being robbed.

JEFFREY BROWN: Is that exploitation problem something that you’re unable to deal with, I mean, to protect them from that?

THOMAS HODGSON: Well, yes, it’s very difficult, because they always want to work under the radar.

They don’t make themselves known. They don’t report it to the police. And we don’t know just how much more empowered some of these Americanized criminals are becoming when they continue to commit more and more crimes, ultimately, perhaps against people beyond the illegal immigrant community.

JEFFREY BROWN: The young people that you are encountering, why do you believe they’re coming to the United States and even to Massachusetts, far from the border?

THOMAS HODGSON: Well, I don’t think there’s any question why they’re coming. And it’s been verified by the EPIC report done by the El Paso Intelligence Center. It was leaked out several months ago.

And what they learned in this report was that, in 2012, when the president signed the DACA act, and the–the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, there’s an immediate correlation between that signing of the–of DACA and the sudden influx by the thousands of unaccompanied minors coming here.

And in that report, they interviewed 230 individuals who came here illegally. Of the 230, 219 said:  The reason I came here was because I was told I could stay.

And we know that the homicides are down in all three of those countries, Honduras, El Salvador and Guatemala. We also know that there was no sudden change in the culture or the atmosphere within those countries. So the surge was directly related to the president’s new policy.

JEFFREY BROWN: Well, but we have certainly heard from other people in this series that–about the dire straits that a lot of these young people are in, fearing for their lives in their home countries.

You simply don’t believe that they’re coming from desperate situations and would leave because of that?

THOMAS HODGSON: Look, these desperate situations they’re talking about have not suddenly just emerged since 2012.

And I think if you look at the surge in numbers, it’s pretty amazing that we have had 37,000 children placed in foster care since January 1 to July 31 of this year. That didn’t just suddenly have some change in those countries. They have had problems in those countries for a long time. So to suggest that suddenly we’re seeing 90,000 come across, now next year possibly 145,000, that this is some sudden, dramatic shift in the danger within those countries, it’s just not so.

JEFFREY BROWN: Well, so what do you want to see from the federal government?

THOMAS HODGSON: Well, a couple of things.

Number one, we need to change the law immediately so that these individuals coming in from Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador are treated the same way the Mexicans are, which is there is no right to trial, you get turned around and immediately sent back.

There is right now a 400–almost a 400,000-case backload for these unaccompanied children that are now being booked into dockets of 2017. So we need to get the law changed and have them treated the same as we do with the Mexican–illegal Mexicans coming across.

The other thing we need to do is, we need to do what law enforcement has been asking since–for two decades, secure the borders. Bring the Israelis in, talk to our people, build the sophisticated kinds of systems that they have in place. We don’t have to reinvent the wheel. And secure our borders, like law enforcement has been asking. We have our boots on the ground. We know what the problem is.

And, thirdly, if we’re going to deal with the administrative process, we need to make–send more administrative judges to the border. Don’t ship people who are going to have administrative hearings all over our country, at the expense of taxpayers. Keep them there. Get the judges down there and let them do these cases.


JEFFREY BROWN: We have heard from other people in this series that we’re a relatively wealthy country, that this is a situation that requires our compassion. What is your response?

THOMAS HODGSON: Look, we’re about the most compassionate country in the world. And I don’t disagree that we ought to help everybody we can.

But, you know, why don’t we–why don’t we load up planes from Iraq where these people over there are being slaughtered by ISIS and put them here?  If anybody needs refuge from violence, we know what’s going on. What about our own kids in Chicago who are being killed by eight and nine a weekend?  What are we doing about that?

I mean, look, the reality is, we can’t sustain this. And if you talk to parents who have had their school programs cut because our governments can’t afford it anymore in the schools to have arts program, sports programs, kids can’t play in these activities unless their parents pay extra money, which they just don’t have, given the economy, the difficulties in our economy.

So the idea that somehow we’re able to sustain this through medical costs, costs for additional teachers who are going to speak the language, special needs costs, I mean, it’s about $9,000 per unaccompanied child in our schools. So these are the kinds of things that are going to really devastate our country, and not give us the opportunities we otherwise have to be compassionate for those we can bring in and do it the right way.


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.
  • Adolf Verloc

    “Of the 230, 219 said: The reason I came here was because I was told I could stay” Yep, that’s about right. The protesters at Murrieta and elsewhere have gotten a lot of hell, but I think if these angry protests get shown on TV in Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador, it might have an effect..

    • They could care less if they’re unwanted. As long as they get what they want.

  • MekongDelta69

    “unaccompanied minors”

    Real world:
    Illegal aliens

    • Lewis33

      Alien invaders.

      • TruthBeTold

        Criminal aliens.

        • connorhus

          The first wave.

    • brior

      Illegal invader debt bombs.

  • John Smith

    I believe they always underestimate the cost of these parasitic, predatory illegal alien invaders.

    Total up the cost for:
    medical care
    law enforcement
    prison incarceration
    affirmative action inefficiencies in private sector
    reduction in real estate values

    The costs are staggering.

    Not to mention the millions of of whites that get pushed aside to make room for them.

    • Adolf Verloc

      Many if not most of these Central American kids speak neither English nor Spanish. They speak obscure Indio dialects that only an anthropologist could decipher. How is a school system supposed to “educate” them?

    • IstvanIN

      Not to mention the rapes, murders and other crimes they will commit.

    • 1stworlder

      All those killed by illegal alien drunk drivers.

    • mobilebay

      Then there’s the drain on our natural resources, the overcrowded highway system, the loss of our language, our neighborhoods and our way of life. The President has certainly keep one of his promises – “I will ‘fundamentally change’ this country.” That scared me to death. I don’t know how anyone could vote for him after that, but they did…twice.

  • “The cost”

    Which we will pay for. Not the people who will directly benefit from the wage/salary equilibrium declining by the day.

    • brior

      Jeb says the cost is “Love” what is wrong with that?

  • journey

    Putting black radicals in the highest offices of this nation does not help. They have been schooled to bring down this country within the system.

  • E_Pluribus_Pluribus

    Bravo, Sheriff Hodgson. He is a rare combination in a public official: common sense, deep understanding of the immigration issue, and courage to tell the truth.

    Another Massachusetts politician with those traits is the mayor of Lynn (a town of about 90,000). Here is Mayor Judith Kennedy describing Lynn’s experience with Central American unaccompanied minor aliens in an August press conference:

    “A lot of the children gave a birthdate of January 1st. A lot of them could not sign their names; they had to sign their names with an X. And a lot of them were illiterate, not only in English, but also in Spanish, and spoke a tribal dialect, a mountain dialect, so it really made it difficult to place these students in any kind of a classroom setting.”

    • mobilebay

      When I give a birth date of Jan. 1, I’m telling the truth, and as far as being here legally, my paternal ancestors arrived in 1699 and were in the party who founded a southern gulf coast city. But for all that, I feel displaced in my own country.

  • Tim

    I recently read a story about a guy who got visited by the IRS. When he filed his return for the year under dependents he wrote, 34 Million Illegal aliens, 8 Million Food Stamp Recipients, 67,000 Out of State Students etc. etc. etc.”


      Well, what happened? Did the IRS try to drag him over the coals and destroy his life for stating such a blatantly obvious truth?

      • Tim

        It didn`t really say. I wish I could have remembered the stats he quoted verbatim. There were six or seven good ones. At least the person posting on the story was sympathetic to him… Sorry I don`t have more.

  • Canadian Friend

    He says ; […] So these are the kinds of things that are going to really devastate our country[…]

    Devastate the country is exactly what Obama and his handlers want to happen.

    This is all by design, it is all intentional.

    Obama’s mentor Bill Ayers hates the USA with a passion, he used to be a member of domestic terrorist group who set bombs in the USA so much they hate the USA, capitalism etc.

    They do not want to completely destroy the USA but just enough that it is much weaker, they hate the fact it is the most powerful and richest nation not only on the planet but in the history of the planet

    If you know what the Cloward Piven Strategy is then you know why they want to make the USA weak and devastated; Obama is the CLoward Piven candidate , he and his accomplices are there to create crisis upon crisis to overwhelm the system.

    Look around you that is exactly what is happening, Obama is creating crisis after crisis instead of fixing them, he said things to make more illegals enter the USA illegally; he wanted to overwhelm the system

    and then in November right after the elections he is going to give Amnesty to at least 5 million illegals; overwhelming the system again

    That is all Obama does. it is all part of a big plan.

    It is all part of the plan, all part of the Cloward Piven strategy

    • JP Rushton

      I wish it was the Cloward-Piven strategy. I actually support a guaranteed minimum income. It’s much less bureaucracy than all of the welfare systems we have now, and everyone gets it.

      This is more along the lines of “electing a new people” than overwhelming welfare. Not to mention that the US government has in effect infinity money. By adding a few hundred billion more to the debt every year doesn’t change a thing. But the millions of new immigrants could change Texas to a blue state, which means the end of the Republicans.

      • Malgus

        Guaranteed minimum income? Yeah, that’ll work. Employers won’t eat a pay increase across the boards – they’ll pass that increase right on to the customers with increased prices – which is sure to make all those customers really happy. And with all the increased prices for food, goods, services because of the increased “guaranteed minimum income”, you’re right back where you started… worse, since there will be more currency in circulation which will devalue the currency even further, driving prices even higher.

        The US Government has “infinite money”? You’re kidding, right? Do you even know how our government gets its currency? The Fed – a private bank, with private investors – prints currency and then loans it to our government at interest, in effect, taxing our debt. YOU get taxed by the government in a pathetic attempt to pay back the bank, but since there are more parasites than producers in the US, there isn’t a hope in hell of even breaking even. Since Nixon broke the Bretton Woods Agreement, our system has been debt-fueled. It’s designed to run on debt. If we actually paid the debt off, the system would collapse.

        Here’s a short version: There’s one dollar in existence, and the Fed has it. You ask to borrow the dollar, and promise to pay it back PLUS another dollar interest.

        So where does the second dollar come from?

        By the way, all those multiples of billions of dollars the Fed just invented out of thin air back in 2008, backed by nothing? To “save” us?

        It’s all sitting in banks. That’s the only reason why we still have an economy. If that massive pile of currency hits the street all at the same time – in the hands of consumers? Oh man… Economic Ragnarök doesn’t even begin to describe the disaster that will occur. We’re talking Weimar Republic levels of hyperinflation. Zimbabwe levels of hyperinflation… how would you like it if you went down to your local Piggly Wiggly and a can of Van de Camps beans was $150? Or by the time you got back from the bank or cash machine with enough cash to buy it, it’s now $750?

        “Bank Holidays” are anything but. They’re “holidays” all right… for YOU. But not for the banksters or the government. By the time the bank reopens, your currency – if there’s any left – will be almost worthless.

        Remember: The job of government is NOT to tell you the truth. The job of government is to instill confidence – by any means necessary. By the time you find out about an economic disaster, it’s way too late. The ones responsible for it will have known for at least a week and are long, long gone…

  • M&S

    IQ tests for everyone please.

    Then again in six months when their nutrition and any medical conditions have stabilized. Then again in 2 years, 6 years, 10 years. So that we have a medically reasonable idea of what a Flynn adjusted IQ-8x individual looks like as a potential employee of the great welfare state.

    Mexicans cross our borders with an average IQ of 83. Within 10 years they are functioning at an IQ 95 level. They do not attend higher education. Neither do their kids. They still speak Spanish at home, as do their spouses, even when they are white.

    The U.S. becomes Mexico because being Mexican is more about genetic prevalence of traits than anyone cares to believe.

    And we can prove it, with purely visual Raven’s Progressive Matrices (shape-matching predictive trajectories for non-English speakers), if we can get the data points.

    At which point, Americans will have to ask themselves if they want the country that went to Europe in WWII. Went to the moon in 1969. And now is in danger of being lost because _people are not interchangeable_.

    Because that country as society will not persist if it is made up of central American replacement cultures.

    Being white means being the bearers of a genetic algorithm which has done more to carry culture forward out of the Neolithic darkness than any other group on the planet. If you want your children to have a shot at the wonders and security you did. You have to be exclusionary in your choices.

  • SentryattheGate

    Yeah, the churches, mainly Lutherans, Presbyterians and Catholics, are getting gov’t. grants to feed and house these invaders. I read that they’ve spent tens of millions of dollars, but 90% of it comes from us taxpayers, most of whom want these invaders deported! Isn’t that taxation without representation????

  • John

    “Robert Rector and Christine Kim of the Heritage Foundation calculated that an average low-skilled immigrant household costs federal, local, and state governments $19,588 per year more than it pays in all taxes.” Simply put, we (Americans) cannot afford these squat monsters. The above quote is from an article at Numbers USA btw.

  • TL2014

    Who is this Jeffrey Brown idiot?
    I hope people called after the program and set him straight!

  • Pat Kittle

    Give illegals free birth control with instructions on how & why to use it.

    Then deport them.

    Endless tens of millions of (mostly-over-breeding) people pouring into this already-overwhelmed country is an ecological catastrophe. That is reality.