And you thought the people you elected to represent you in Washington would, you know, represent you, the Nevada taxpayer.
Instead, Nevada’s senior Democratic Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto has chosen to represent foreigners. She and 22 other Democratic senators, as well as independent Bernie Sanders, have signed a letter addressed to the heads of the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security demanding that the Trump administration rescind a policy that forces largely Central American asylum seekers to remain in Mexico while awaiting an immigration hearing.
In January the Trump administration began enforcing what it calls Migrant Protection Protocols, but others have dubbed it the Remain in Mexico policy. The practice started in San Diego but in July was expanded to the Texas border.
Prior to this, illegal immigrants who claimed to be fleeing persecution in their home countries were freed into the U.S. and given dates to appear for a hearing of their claim, often months or even years away.
In June, acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told a congressional hearing that a recently conducted study of 7,000 family units revealed that 90 percent failed to appear for their scheduled hearings and simply vanished inside the country, according to Fox News.
“It depends on demographic, the court, but we see too many cases where people are not showing up,” McAleenan said. “Out of those 7,000 cases, 90 received final orders of removal in absentia, 90 percent.”
U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Fox reported, encountered 144,000 migrants at the border in May alone. McAleenan testified that 60,000 children had been entered into Homeland Security custody in just the previous 40 days.
The senators’ letter, dated Aug. 27, claims that at one point more than 30,000 asylum seekers were waiting in Mexico for adjudication of their asylum cases but that number may well have risen to 60,000 by now.
The senators make a humanitarian argument, without addressing the costs to U.S. taxpayers for education, incarceration and welfare benefits.
“Under the Remain in Mexico policy, the United States has turned its back on its domestic and international legal obligations by forcing men, women, and children to await resolution of their U.S. asylum cases in parts of Mexico plagued by violence,” the senators’ letter states. “While in Mexico, these asylum seekers have limited access to lawyers and shelter, which makes it nearly impossible for them to prepare their cases and effectively denies them meaningful access to the U.S. asylum system.”
The letter recounts specific examples of kidnapping, extortion, trafficking, rape and murder of would-be migrants forced to remain in Mexico. “From January to May 2019, Doctors Without Borders treated 378 patients in Nuevo Laredo,” the letter says. “Of these, more than 45 percent had experienced at least one episode of violence and about 12 percent had been kidnapped while waiting to cross into the U.S.”
In addition to Cortez Masto, U.S. Sens. Robert Menendez (D-N.J.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Patrick Leahy (D-Vt.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Angus King (I-Maine), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Kamala Harris (D-Calif.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) and Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) also signed the letter.
As you may notice, several of them have been or still are Democratic presidential candidates.
There is a process in law for legal immigration. Simply opening the borders to all comers is an affront to those who follow the law and a burden on U.S. taxpayers.
A version of this editorial appeared this week in some of the Battle Born Media newspapers — The Ely Times, the Mesquite Local News, the Mineral County Independent-News, the Eureka Sentinel, Sparks Tribune and the Lincoln County Record.