Barbara Hollingsworth, CNS News, February 26, 2016
Senators Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Ron Johnson (R-WI) introduced a bill that would “ensure a prompt return of unaccompanied alien children (UAC) who illegally cross the southern border” after their numbers more than doubled during the first four months of the current fiscal year.
According to U.S. Customs and Border Protection, there was a 102 percent increase in the number of unaccompanied alien children (20,455) who were apprehended at the southwest border between Oct. 1, 2015 and Jan. 31, 2016 compared to 10,105 apprehended during the same time period in FY2015.
However, less than four percent (4,680) of the 127,193 UACs who have been caught illegally entering the U.S. over the past two and a half years have been sent back home because the vast majority do not show up for their deportation hearings, Sessions noted during a Judiciary Committee hearing held earlier this week.
The Protection of Children Act of 2016 (S.2561) “amends the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008 to provide expedited processing for unaccompanied alien children who are not victims of a severe form of trafficking in persons and who do not have a fear of returning to their country of nationality or last habitual residence,” according to a press release from Sessions’ office.
Bemoaning the “virtual collapse of enforcement” of the nation’s immigration laws, Sessions–who is chairman of the Subcommittee on Immigration and the National Interest–said in a statement that “the only way to stop the illegality is to ensure those who enter unlawfully, including children, are treated well but returned home quickly…
“Assurance of being returned sends a powerful message louder than words. The word will spread and the number attempting illegal entry will quickly fall,” Sessions predicted.