2015 could see a repeat of last year's wave of undocumented minors
Last summer, the Southern US border was overwhelmed with undocumented children and young adults from Central America, unaccompanied by any adults. Recently, there have been signs that the surge of 2014 will be repeated this year.
"In the past few weeks, numbers of unaccompanied minors and incomplete family units have begun soaring again, according to the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), the organization that represents nearly 17,000 U.S. Border Patrol agents," Breitbart News reported.
“This is starting to resemble the summer border surge of 2014,” said Border Patrol agent Chris Cabrera. “We are not nearly at the numbers we were last year, but it looks like we are in the opening stages. We had two groups equal a little over 70 in one hour today. These were women and children. We’ve also seen a lot of children traveling alone.”
Cabrera said that many of these children and women were seeking out Border Patrol agents and turning themselves in. “When the women and children start seeking out agents, we know there is word spreading in their home countries that they can come and be set free,” he said.
Meanwhile, other border concerns have not diminished. A Border Patrol helicopter was fired upon Friday while flying in a known high drug traffic area near the Rio Grande River in Laredo, Texas.
"Several shots, which came from the Mexican side of the border, struck the helicopter at about 5 p.m. local time. The rounds penetrated the aircraft, forcing the pilot to make an emergency landing, according to the National Border Patrol Council. Brandon Judd, NBPC president, sadi that drug cartels and human smugglers are becoming more aggressive.
And the Islamic State group, which has threatened the West with acts of terrorism, has bragged that it could smuggle a nuclear weapon across America’s Southern border. A report earlier this year by the Texas Department of Public Safety spoke of a "significant" threat from terrorists crossing the border:
The report noted that the first nine months of 2014 saw a 15% increase of SIAs, who, over the past few years, have come from Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Egypt, Iran, Iraq, Jordan, Lebanon, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Turkey.
“We are concerned about the potential for extremists to be among the flow of illegal aliens from these countries,” the report said.
The report specified that apprehended SIAs included a Somali member of al-Shabaab who had recently been trained for a suicide attack but apparently had a change of heart. In 2010, it was learned that the FBI believed that a Somali who had illegally crossed the border was an active Al-Shabaab member who “knowingly helped move into the US several potentially dangerous Somali terrorists who he believed would commit violent acts if ordered to do so.”
Immigration is likely to play a role in the 2016 presidential race. Already, there has been spats among candidates such as the one between appparent Democratic front runner Hillary Clinton and Florida Sen. Marco Rubio on whose immigration stances are the result of flip-flopping. Rubio, the son of Cuban immigrants, favors a path to citizenship (once immigrants pay fines and taxes and remain on provisional work permits for at least 10 years), but only after passing and implementing laws to beef up enforcement so as to convince Americans that illegal immigration is under control and overhauling the legal immigration system
Clinton last month called for a "full and equal" path to citizenship while decrying Republican proposals for legal status as "code for second class status," according to Bloomberg News.