A study done by the University of Texas at El Paso and headed by the former Chief of the El Paso Sector of the Border Patrol concludes that currently, there is no downside to Central Americans making an effort to get into the U.S., and, as long as that situation continues, we can expect them to continue to come.
News Radio 1200 WOAI's Michael Board reports that former Border Patrol chief Victor Manjarrez says under the policy which is being adopted now, there is no 'down side' to attempting to make it into the U.S.
"The first person gets arrested, and they do the paperwork, and then they release him," Manjarrez says of the current policy of handling the illegal immigrants. "Can you imagine the look of surprise on their face."
He says as long as the U.S. has a policy of providing food, shelter, and other benefits for the illegals during the processing period, and then releasing them on a vague 'promise to appear,' it is not surprising that they are going to keep coming.
Manjarrez says when a 'surge' of illegal immigrants from Mexico hit the U.S. border in the early 2000s, the policy then as, instead of letting them go with a promise to return, officials build new holding facilities and kept them there.
He says there is movement toward that direction with proposals like Sen. John Cornyn and Rep. Henry Cuellar's HUMANE Act, which was introduced on Monday.
"That is definitely a process that is available to them, and it looks like they're looking at that now," he said.
Manjarrez says if you create no down side to coming into the U.S., with conditions in Central America and across Latin America being what they are, desperation will lead them to make the attempt to get into the United States.
"In the last decade, people were being held until their court appointed date and then they were deported," he said. "Word quickly got back that, this was not what we expected, we thought we would get released."