One Democrat congresswoman has reportedly found a work-around to help migrants gain entry into the U.S. — and she’s doing her best to spread the word.
According to a report from the Washington Examiner, Texas Rep. Veronica Escobar and her team have allegedly been crossing the border into Mexico in an effort to locate asylum seekers and coach them on how to exploit loopholes in American immigration laws.
Those allegations came from members of the El Paso chapter of the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC), as well as U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) personnel, who claim to have documentary evidence supporting their claims.
According to reports, Escobar’s aides and staffers — in conjunction with members of the local Catholic Church diocese in El Paso, where Escobar represents — have interviewed thousands of migrants in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico to find cases of individuals who’d been turned back at the border and told to wait, potentially up to five years, for their asylum claim to be processed as part of the recently implemented bilateral Migration Protection Protocols, also known as the “Remain in Mexico” policy.
One of the stipulations of that policy is that the migrants told to remain in Mexico must be fluent in Spanish. Given that the overwhelming majority of those seeking entrance into the U.S. are coming from Central American nations, that stipulation isn’t really a problem.
However, Escobar’s aides are reportedly coaching some migrants to claim that they don’t speak or understand Spanish, or are suffering from some sort of previously undeclared health emergency, so that they can be admitted into the U.S. and processed through a temporary detention facility. They would then eventually be released into the interior of the country, often never to be seen or heard from again.
A representative of the NBPC union told the Examiner: “What we’re hearing from management is that they’re attempting to return people, and the story was changed in Mexico, where a person who understood Spanish before now doesn’t understand — where a person who didn’t have any health issues before now has health issues.”
The CBP’s intelligence unit estimates that Escobar’s team has recorded interviews with upwards of 6,000 migrants in Juarez.
“They went through and interviewed everybody, cherry-picked them, brought them back, and now are using them as tag lines,” the union official told the Examiner. “They’re going over there and manufacturing a lot of these issues.”
Breaking the law
Former federal immigration judge Mark Metcalf told the Examiner that what Escobar and her team are doing is “more of a stunt than a genuine threat to the integrity of the process,” but he suggested that Escobar could nevertheless be violating federal laws if she were complicit in attempts to defraud the government, such as by providing false statements and documents to U.S. officials.
But even if she doesn’t face legal repercussions, Escobar could have to face U.S. taxpayers, who are likely funding her antics.
“Resources are being diverted into a foreign country in an attempt to reverse already-decided legal action, meaning these people were found inadmissible under a new program and they must remain in Mexico,” a representative from the NBPC told the Examiner. “They’re trying to subvert that.”
An unnamed Department of Homeland Security (DHS) official told the Examiner that Escobar’s scheme reveals just how “furious” Democrats are over the policy that keeps migrants in Mexico instead of allowing them to “await their court dates in the U.S., where they have the opportunity to disappear and slip into the interior never to be seen again.”
Escobar’s gambit was reportedly exposed after a constituent’s document clearly marked as coming from her congressional office was found in the file of a 17-year-old male from El Salvador who’d initially been turned away, but had returned claiming to suffer from “cognitive disabilities.”
That document had likely been mistakenly left in the file after the migrant met with the congresswoman or her aides.
Escobar’s office declined a request for comment from the Examiner. It remains to be seen whether the congresswoman will face any legal repercussions for her obvious intent to subvert the will of the U.S. government.