DHS: ‘True,' Unaccompanied Illegal Children Are Being Placed with Alien Parents, Guardians

June 24, 2014 - 3:05 PM

Jeh Johnson

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson testified at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on June 24, 2014. (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

(CNSNews.com) – Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson said Tuesday that the thousands of unaccompanied minors who have been streaming across the U.S. border into Mexico are sometimes being placed with parents or guardians who also are in the U.S. illegally.

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) asked Johnson at a House Judiciary hearing on the more than 50,000 unaccompanied minors that have come into the country illegally since January if some of those children would be placed with other illegal aliens.

“These kids have come here illegally,” Broun said. “They’ve been lawbreakers already, and you place them with families -- and it’s my understanding that some of these families may be illegal themselves, is that correct?”

“I’m sure that’s true in certain circumstances, yes,” Johnson said.

According to Customs and Border Protection (CBP), the number of unaccompanied minors apprehended along the southwest border has increased 99 percent from fiscal year 2013 (26,206) to fiscal year 2014 (52,193).

Predictions range from 60,000 to 90,000 the number that could come to the U.S. before the end of 2014.

“Our strategy is three-fold: (1) process the increased tide of unaccompanied children through the system as quickly as possible; (2) stem the increased tide of illegal migration into the Rio Grande Valley; and (3) do these things in a manner consistent with our laws and values as Americans,” Johnson said in his prepared testimony.

 

Paul Broun

Rep. Paul Broun (R-Ga.) questioned Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson at a House Judiciary Committee hearing on June 24, 2014 (CNSNews.com/Penny Starr)

But when Broun interrogated Johnson, the Georgia physician pressed the secretary on the actions the Obama administration has taken to stop the flow of illegal aliens into the United States.

 

Broun cited a federal notice issued in January seeking a contractor that could help transport thousands of unaccompanied minors for placement around the country and wanted Johnson to comment on the notice. Johnson said he had not seen the notice and the following exchange took place:

“Nothing has been done except for just to get ready for these kids to come, is that correct?” Broun said.

“I have to disagree,” Johnson said.

“O.K., well, I’d like to know what you all have been doing to try to stop the flow, because I believe the administration’s policies is what’s invited these kids to come here,” Broun said. “Now, I understand that these kids are being placed with family members across the country.”

After an exchange between Johnson and Broun about how many children who are arrested and given court dates actually appear before a judge, Broun continued to press the secretary about the children’s fate.

“These kids have come here illegally,” Broun said. “They’ve been lawbreakers already, and you place them with families and it’s my understanding that some of these families may be illegal themselves, is that correct?” Broun said.

“I’m sure that’s true in certain circumstances, yes,” Johnson said.

Johnson ended his time questioning Johnson with harsh words about President Barack Obama and his administration’s record on enforcing federal immigration law.

“It’s been very obvious -- the president [has] been very public that he’s said that he’s not going to deport these illegal aliens – we don’t even deport people who have broken the law and committed felonies,” Broun said. “I think the administration is inviting these kids, inviting illegal aliens to come to this country and wants to give them legal status, and I find that intolerable.”

The almost three-hour hearing also included two other witnesses: Federal Emergency Management Agency Administrator Craig Fugate, who was tapped by Johnson to coordinate the government response to the surge, and U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello.