Tens of thousands of immigrants who illegally crossed the Mexico border into the United States are in the process of being released into communities throughout the nation rather than being indefinitely detained or immediately deported, according to a Texas congressman.
Rep. Louie Gohmert, R-Texas, who visited the U.S.-Mexico border last week, said an effort is under way to place children in foster homes or with relatives already living in the United States.
Adults, meanwhile, are being given a “notice to appear,” which requires they show up for a deportation hearing. Those who return for the hearing will face a federal immigration judge to determine their fate.
“You know good and well they won’t show up and we won’t go looking for them,” Gohmert said. “When they get their piece of paper saying report back on such a day at such a time, they take that as their legal permit to stay in the country and they go do what they want.”
A senior Los Angeles County Sheriff’s detective who routinely deals with illegal immigrants said a “massive number—80 to 90 percent” do not show up for deportation hearings. Detention is not even being considered because Homeland Security facilities are not equipped to hold a large number of people, said the detective, who spoke on a guarantee of anonymity.
The Border Patrol on Tuesday is expected to begin transporting some immigrants to Southern California despite the protests of Rep. Ken Calvert, R-Calif.
Calvert said he has pleaded with Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson to leave California out of the Texas border mess. Flights carrying 280 people a day will continue for the foreseeable future, FoxLA reported.
Calvert, who was not notified by the Department of Homeland Security, said he learned of the plan only when his staff called local Border Patrol agents.
“Instead of solving the immigration problems along our border in Texas, President Obama has decided to spread that problem into communities in my congressional district and throughout Southern California,” Calvert said in a statement.
During his trip to the border, Gohmert said he talked to two women who said the fathers of their children were in North Carolina with good jobs and that they wanted to go there.
“Not only did they think they could come and get to stay, they had heard that the U.S. government would transport the children to wherever the parents were,” Gohmert said. “What’s going to happen is that they will be provided with health care, anything to meet their needs, and food stamps.”