The top immigration officer in the US on Thursday slammed so-called "sanctuary cities" as sending the wrong message to smugglers and immigrants seeking to cross the border illegally.
"Sanctuary cities, that's an alien smuggler's best friend — 'We'll get you to sanctuary city,'" Thomas Homan, acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said during a White House press briefing. “Sanctuary cities not only endanger public safety, they endanger our officers.”
[ICE Director Says Sanctuary Cities Are "Smuggler's Best Friend," by Adolfo Flores, BuzzFeed, July 27, 2017]
Homan was speaking on the relationship between Sanctuary Cities, alien smugglers, and gangs like MS-13. And how correct he is. Alien smugglers bring gangbangers directly to Sanctuary Cities. No more evidence is needed than the most recent incident of alien smuggling in Texas where 10 illegal aliens died, including an MS-13 gangbanger previously protected by Barack Obama's Deferred Action For Childhood Arrivals (DACA). One can then say that DACA is as much a magnet for illegal aliens as Sanctuary Cities.
Among the 10 people killed in a human smugglers' truck discovered outside a Texas Walmart was a deported Guatemalan teen who grew up in America and was trying to get back to his family.
Frank Giusseppe Fuentes, 19, was born in Guatemala, but came to the U.S. illegally with his parents when he was 2 years old, according to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
He was deported in March after being convicted of assault and battery by a mob and was a suspected member of the notorious Mara Salvatrucha, or MS-13, gang, ICE spokesperson Carissa Cutrell said in a statement.
[Teen Who Died in Texas Smuggling Truck Was a DREAMer Raised in Virginia, by Elizabeth Chuck, NBC, July 26, 2017]
The Fuentes family is in Maryland and protected by the Sanctuary City policies in that State.
“He’s been here forever,” Barrios-Mazariegos told the Post. “He doesn’t know what Guatemala was. His home is here, his friends are here, his family is here.”
His parents have asked for his body to be returned to them, Cristy Andrino, the consul of Guatemala told NBC News. Andrino confirmed Fuentes was trying to get to his family in Maryland when he died, but wouldn't discuss the case further.
"I was talking to his father and he kindly requested not to speak about his son out of respect," she said.
The pregnant question though is why are Fuentes' parents in the United States? Because ICE has yet to target other illegal aliens. Importantly, ICE knows where Fuentes' parents are because he provided their address on his DACA application. Why hasn't Homan ordered his officers to comb through DACA records for the address of the DACA recipients and gone to their homes to arrest their parents?
Furthermore, Homan said he will start to prosecute parents of aliens who pay for smugglers.
The Trump administration has begun a new surge of immigration enforcement targeting parents who have paid to have their children illegally brought to the United States.
The recent arrests, which had been largely rumored but not confirmed until now, have set off a new wave of confusion and fear through immigrant communities that have already been subject to greater enforcement.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents have begun sharing information with immigration agents about U.S.-based relatives of unaccompanied children. The information is being used to track down the parents, according to lawyers and government case workers familiar with the practice.
[Trump Administration Targets Parents Who Paid To Smuggle Children Into U.S., by Franco Ordoñez, Charlotte Observer, June 29, 2017]
Shouldn't Fuentes' parents be the first high profile prosecution? Or at least deportation? One can contact Andre R. Watson, Special Agent-in-Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), ICE, Baltimore Field Office, here, or at (410) 962-2620, and ask him if Fuentes' parents are going to be prosecuted.
Dorothy Herrera-Niles, Field Office Director, Enforcement and Removal Operations (ERO), ICE, Baltimore Field Office, can be contacted here, or at (410) 637-4000, to see if she will be having Fuentes' parents arrested and deported if HSI will not arrest them for alien smuggling.
If Sanctuary Cities attract smugglers and illegal aliens, it is time to remove the parents who pay the those smugglers to bring more illegal aliens to the United States.