- Sen. Ted Cruz and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott toured Lackland Air Force Base, where more than 1,000 children are being held after crossing the border illegally
- Drug dealers force children ‘to cut off the fingers or cut off the ears of other little boys and little girls, in order to extort money from their families’
- ‘And these children are told, “If you don’t cut off the fingers or ears of another child, you’ll be shot”‘
- Cruz and Abbott blame Obama for suggesting to Central American parents that their children can receive amnesty if they make it to the United States
- Obama announced a policy in 2012 that ‘deferred’ the deportation of 800,000 people brought into the US illegally as children through June 2007
- Cruz said Obama, not Central American violence, is at the root of a flood of children streaming into border states
- ‘You would expect to see more families coming to flee violence,’ he said, but ‘the shift here in particular focuses on unaccompanied minors’
(Daily Mail) – Human traffickers are forcing illegal immigrant children to cut off the ears and fingers of other kids traveling into the U.S. in order to extort money from their families, a Texas senator claimed on Monday.
Lashing out at President Barack Obama for a 2012 policy shift that he said encourages Central American parents to send their children northward, Sen. Ted Cruz said the children are being placed in ‘unspeakable’ peril when the traffickers,known as ‘coyotes,’ take over.
‘We just heard stories of little boys and little girls, forced by these drug dealers to cut off the fingers or cut off the ears of other little boys and little girls, in order to extort money from their families,’ Cruz said after he toured the temporary holding facility for ‘unaccompanied alien children’ at Lackland Air Force Base along with Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott and Rep. Michael Burgess.
‘And these children are told, “If you don’t cut off the fingers or ears of another child, you’ll be shot”.’
Cruz was relating accounts he heard from officials at the Lackland facility in San Antonio, according to a spokesperson in his office.
Sen. Ted Cruz, right, with Attorney General and Republican gubernatorial candidate Greg Abbott, talked to reporters on Monday outside a temporary shelter for unaccompanied illegal immigrant children at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, Texas
Heartbreak: More than 1,000 children — a tiny fraction of the national total this year — wait at Lackland AFB while health care professionals and caseworkers figure out how to reunite them with family members — who may not be in the U.S. legally themselves
The coyotes, Cruz said, ‘are not well-meaning social workers trying to care for these kids. These are hardened, cold criminals. These are transnational, global criminal cartels. And they are vicious, violent murderers.’
‘These children are being subjected to physical abuse, to sexual abuse. Some of them are losing their lives.’
‘When the President of the United States prevents the Border Patrol from following the law and enforcing our immigration laws,’ Cruz declared, ‘when the President of the United States announces to the world, “Amnesty for those who have broken the law,” the consequence is that people respond to that.’
‘And the way they’ve responded to that is handing over their children to drug dealers and vicious cartels.’
Abbott, who is running to succeed Republican Rick Perry as governor of Texas, confirmed the accounts they heard and agreed that the White House deserves the blame.
‘We are dealing with a human-made crisis. The challenges these children are going through are unprecedented,’ he said, ‘and it is unacceptable to have children housed in facilities like this.’
‘Equally unacceptable, though, is to have a president promoting policies that entice children to navigate more than 1,000 miles away from home, going through the most treacherous conditions, facing things like human trafficking and sexual assault.’
‘We were told of remarkable stories, stories about children having their ears cut off, of having fingers cut off in the pathway, on the way here. A story about a quadriplegic child who was left on the banks of the Rio Grande River on the United States side, showing the way that these cartels and gangs and smugglers operate.’
Both men pegged Obama’s 2012 policy shift – his Rose garden announcement of a ‘deferred action’ program to stop the deportation of people brought into the country as minors before June 2007 – sa the starting gun for the flood of children across America’s southern border.
‘We are witnessing a humanitarian crisis unfolding that is a direct consequence of President Obama’s lawlessness,’ Cruz said.
‘Obama lawlessly granted amnesty to some 800,000 people here illegally who entered as children. And the direct consequence of that lawlessness, of that amnesty, is that we have seen the number of children taking the incredible risks that are entailed with coming across the border grow exponentially.’
‘It has gone from 6,000 in 2011,’ he said, ‘to this year – it is expected to be 90,000 …. next year the estimates are 145,000.’
Unspeakable horror: The lawmakers heard about sexual and physical assaults, including some cases where children were threatened with death if they refused to cut of other kids’ body parts to use as extortion bait with their parents
Abbott has ordered Texas law enforcement officers to plug the holes that he says Obama has left in U.S. border security as Border Patrol agents are transformed into glorified day care workers.
And he’s demanding that the Department of Homeland Security cough up the funds needed to pay them.
‘While we have border control agents who are spending time taking care of the health care needs of these children, border control agents who are literally changing diapers and making baby formula,’ Abbott told reporters, ‘at that time we have the cartels who are engaging in their international trafficking operations, cartels who are importing crime into the United States, importing into the United States some of the most dangerous gang members around the globe.’
Drug cartels taking advantage of the diversion of federal law enforcement personnel, he claimed, ‘may be making well over $100 million because of this operation.’
‘The state of Texas is going to put the boots on the ground,’ Abbot said, ‘but we expect the federal government to foot the bill.’
‘We are demanding that the federal government pay for the operations by the Texas Department of Public Safety to keep this state safe.’
Cruz shot back against the administration’s claim that regional violence, and not the president’s policies, are to blame for the avalanche of young people pouring into Texas, New Mexico and Arizona.
‘That is an explanation that makes no sense,’ Cruz said.
More help coming: Texas has put its own public safety personnel on the border, working alongside U.S. Border Patrol agents and guided by National Guard troops in Lakota helicopters, in order to find illegal immigrants crossing into the US
‘Violence in Central America explains the increase in immigrants from those countries, but there’s no reason why violence in Central America would cause more parents to send their kids alone.’
‘You would expect to see more families coming to flee violence,’ he said. ‘We’ve always seen that: Whenever a region of the world is suffering under significant violence, we’ve always seen an increase in immigration from those areas. But the shift here is dramatic. The shift here in particular focuses on unaccompanied minors. And the reason it does is not difficult to ascertain.’
Parents in Guatemala, El Salvador and Honduras, he insisted, ‘have been led to believe that all their child has to do is get to America and they will receive amnesty.’
‘And as long as they believe that, we will see thousands upon thousands more little boys and little girls physically violated, sexually violated, subjected to unspeakable horrors.’
In 2013 the U.S. Border Patrol recorded 2,346 rescues, 461 assaults, and 445 deaths along the border, mostly crimes in which illegal immigrants were the victims.