A Democratic congresswoman is being accused of coaching asylum-seekers by secretly sending her staff into Mexico to help migrants return to the U.S.
Rep. Veronica Escobar’s staff is reportedly going to Mexico’s northern border town of Ciudad Juárez in secret in order to find migrants who, under the “remain in Mexico” policy, were returned from El Paso, Texas, according to the Washington Examiner.
The migrants are reportedly being guided in claiming they cannot speak Spanish in order to be allowed to return the U.S., the National Border Patrol Council’s El Paso chapter and some Customs and Border Protection officials told the newspaper.
The local Catholic diocese has apparently joined the Democrat, who took over the district formerly represented by 2020 presidential hopeful Beto O’Rourke, in meeting with thousands of migrants in Juarez in the last few weeks to “second-guess and obstruct” Border Patrol agents and exploit a loophole in the policy, according to a union official.
“What we believe is happening is Veronica Escobar’s office is going … to basically second-guess and obstruct work already done by the Border Patrol,” the senior union official said.
According to the Washington Examiner:
Under the bilateral Migration Protection Protocols, or “Remain in Mexico” policy, anyone returned must be fluent in Spanish because they may have to reside in Mexico up to five years until a U.S. federal judge decides their asylum claim. A Democratic politician’s aides reescorting people back to the port are telling officers the Central American individual with them cannot speak Spanish despite their having communicated in it days earlier, CBP officials said.
“What we’re hearing from management is that they’re attempting to return people, and the story was changed in Mexico, where a person who understood Spanish before now doesn’t understand — where a person who didn’t have any health issues before now has health issues,” a National Border Patrol Council representative said.
Aides to Escobar have reportedly tried to meet and interview 6,000 people who were returned last month, a CBP official noted, with the interviewers often allegedly wearing recording devices to capture conversations, according to an intelligence unit within CBP.
“They went through and interviewed everybody, cherry-picked them, brought them back, and now are using them as tag lines. They’re going over there and manufacturing a lot of these issues,” the union official told the news outlet, as concerns were raised that the process would be used to falsely accuse the Border Patrol of denying large groups of asylum-seekers.
“We had finally found a happy medium ‘cause we always get crapped on when it comes to immigration laws, and then they’re finding loopholes to bring them back,” another official said.
But some noted that the actions of Escobar’s office were “more of a stunt than a genuine threat to the integrity of the process.”
“She’s trying to obviously say these people have been wrongly denied their claims and they’re waiting when they shouldn’t be,” Mark H. Metcalf, former federal immigration judge in the George W. Bush administration, said.
O’Rourke, the former Texas congressman whose border district is now represented by Escobar, visited Ciudad Juárez last week.
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Democrats, including many of the 2020 presidential candidates, are apparently “furious that these migrants” are not permitted to “await their court dates in the U.S., where they have the opportunity to disappear and slip into the interior never to be seen again,” according to a Department of Homeland Security official.
“By opposing a system that assists migrants and speeds wait times, these individuals are exposing a cause that looks more like a cover story for their political motivations. Any efforts to subvert and obstruct federal law enforcement operations should receive a full review,” the DHS official told the Washington Examiner.
A union official noted that this effort by Escobar’s office is a waste of taxpayer money and federal resources.
“Resources are being diverted into a foreign country in an attempt to reverse already-decided legal action, meaning these people were found inadmissible under a new program and they must remain in Mexico,’ the official said. “They’re trying to subvert that.”
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