President Obama’s 2012 executive action ordering immigration officials to refrain from deporting young illegal immigrants caused the recent surge of illegal immigration of unaccompanied minors, according to the Daily Signal.
A flood of illegal immigrant minors quickly followed the passage of Obama’s memorandum, entitled Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA). The number of minors coming to the United States illegally jumped from 8,000 annually to 24,668, from 2011 to 2013. This year’s estimates are as high as 90,000.
While officials point to violence and poverty as the reason for sending children to the border, the parents of the immigrants say they were told their children would not be turned away.
According to the Daily Signal:
Accounts from those who have been encouraged to undertake the perilous journey from Central America to the United States confirm that the Obama administration’s actions were their driving force. According to an internal Border Patrol memo leaked last month, the main reason minors and women from Central America had entered the U.S. was "to take advantage of the ‘new’ U.S. law that grants a free pass or permit" to stay in the country.
Some officials have defended lax enforcement, suggesting these so-called "permisos" are simply the notices to appear at a future immigration hearing issued to minors who enter the country illegally. It is important to understand, however, how the president’s DACA program works. It is not merely "deferred action," as the name suggests, but rather a program that issues papers, identification, and work permits for two years to those illegal immigrants under 30 who qualify.
Some immigrants also believed that the alleged DACA amnesty would stop at the end of 2014, contributing even more to the recent wave of illegal immigration.