(NaturalNews) Lawmakers are quoting a little-noticed federal court ruling in December as evidence that a so-called "catch and release" immigration policy put forth by the Obama administration is primarily behind the current flood of illegal immigrants to the U.S. from south of the border.
One lawmaker, in an interview with Britain's Daily Mail, said that U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen, in his ruling late last year, called out the administration for aiding and abetting felonies. In addition, one former U.S. lawmaker has written that the decision, which was prompted by President Obama himself, shows that the White House has rolled out a welcome mat of sorts for human traffickers.
At present, as many as 80,000 children, most traveling with drug-cartel-associated "coyotes," or human smugglers and not their parents, are expected to illegally enter the U.S. this year.
'These actions are both dangerous and unconscionable'
Hanen wrote in the case of a 10-year-old Salvadoran girl smuggled into the U.S. that the Department of Homeland Security is essentially "delivering the minors to the custody of the parent illegally living in the United States" -- even when Border Patrol agents detain the coyotes who bring them in.
"These actions are both dangerous and unconscionable," Hanen wrote. "The DHS has simply chosen not to enforce the United States' border security laws."
Rest assured, that is a policy decision that comes from the top - as in, the Oval Office. Such decisions always do, regardless of who is president.
Last week, photos leaked from a temporary detention facility showed literally hundreds of foreign-born kids jam-packed into holding rooms, without parents, as Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents processed them.
As reported by the Daily Mail:
After they're fingerprinted and given case numbers, most are turned over to other government agencies or released outright to parents who have no legal basis for being in the U.S.
And 'since most border violators are not caught, the actual numbers arriving presumably are far larger,' former Oklahoma Republican congressman Ernest Istook wrote Tuesday in a Washington Times essay.
Added Istook in his column:
Paying the smugglers thousands of dollars per child are their parents and family -- illegal aliens already in America who send for their children under the belief that amnesty is coming and they will benefit from it. U.S. taxpayers get the rest of the tab. Under Obama's policy we pay $2 billion to complete the process of delivering illegally-arrived children to their illegally-here family. Nobody gets deported. Nobody gets charged with the crime of paying to smuggle people into the country.
Obama's 'non-enforcement doctrine'
Critics charge that the Obama administration is turning an already porous border into a sieve on purpose.
"This is a crisis of the federal government's creation," Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer said in a statement, "and the fact that the border remains unsecure -- now apparently intentionally -- while this operation continues full-steam ahead is deplorable."
U.S. Rep. Paul Gosar, R-Ariz., told the Daily Mail that Hanen "issued an astute, neutral and accurate decision on the gross incompetence and potential illegal activities engaged in by the federal government."
He added: "'When I first learned that the federal government was opening the Texas border and allowing thousands of illegal aliens into the country, and then transporting them across state lines only to abandon them destitute, homeless and dependent, I believed then this constituted a felony -- alien smuggling and human trafficking.
"Judge Hanen agrees... finding that the DHS has in fact been a criminal participant in human trafficking."
And Rep. Phil Gingrey, a Georgia Republican, told the paper that "the Obama administration has acknowledged the surging number of children crossing the border illegally," but "by failing to enforce current immigration laws, its policies have only exacerbated the crisis."
"President Obama's non-enforcement doctrine has perpetuated illegal border crossing -- without fear of reprisal -- and encourages risking children's lives to illegally cross the border," he said.