Border Patrol Expects Surge of Migrant Children Just in Time for GOP Convention

Joel Gehrke, Washington Examiner, March 23, 2016

Border Patrol officials are bracing for another influx of unaccompanied children coming through the border this summer, a crisis that could diminish border security and would certainly affect the 2016 presidential elections.

The number of children who arrive this summer “may exceed” the thousands who made the trip from Central America in 2014. “And it makes it more likely that security risks can take advantage of that situation and penetrate our border, simply riding the tide of the high volume of processing that has to occur,” Jan Ting, a Temple University Law professor who testified Wednesday before a House hearing about immigration and border security policy, told Rep. Jody Hice, R-Ga. “And looking at [fiscal] 2016, I think a lot of us think we’re confronting that situation this year.”

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U.S. Customs and Border Protection confirmed Ting’s projections. “As of January 31 this fiscal year, CBP has apprehended more than 20,000 [unaccompanied children], compared to approximately 10,000 apprehended during the same period last year,” acting chief Ronald Vitiello said in his prepared remarks. {snip}

If the “traditional season of higher migration” unfolds as expected, Congress would already be in the midst of an extended summer recess. And Republicans would be at the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, which is scheduled for July 18-21. “The border crisis is going to hit at exactly the wrong moment, politically,” said Rick Wilson, a GOP operative who supported Marco Rubio’s campaign.

With the GOP potentially headed to a convention floor fight over the nomination if Donald Trump can’t secure a majority of delegates ahead of time, the border crisis could affect the primary as well as the general election. “It will play into the Trumpian narrative,” Wilson said. “I don’t see a good outcome from it for anybody, except for probably him.”

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