Tags: Emerging Threats | Homeland Security | Immigration | Latin America | Mexico | EPIC | report

Report: Illegals Come Not From Fear but for Economic Reasons

By Todd Beamon   |   Tuesday, 15 Jul 2014 08:28 PM

Illegal immigrant minors have besieged the U.S. border from Central America because they think they can stay — not because they're escaping violence in their home countries, an internal law-enforcement report says.

The report by the El Paso Intelligence Center (EPIC), which falls under the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration, revealed that homicide rates had actually fallen in Central American countries and included information from young illegals saying they came to the U.S. for economic reasons, reports Breitbart News.

The report, dated July 7, was leaked to Breitbart.

It included interviews with 230 illegal minors and family members arrested after crossing the Rio Grande Valley in south Texas in late May. The document also analyzed recent Central American crime data from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

EPIC investigators warned that the border crisis would continue unless "misperceptions" about U.S. immigration policy were changed, Breitbart reports. Illegals told investigators that families in the U.S. encouraged them to come and that they were arranging travel with smugglers, or "coyotes."

The immigrants also told investigators that their decisions were based on news coverage by Univision and other Spanish-language media outlets.

The report flies in the face of the Obama administration's claims that many of the 52,000 illegal minors arrested between Oct. 1 and June 15 have been fleeing crime and violence in El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, and other Central American countries.

But Republicans have attributed the onslaught to news reports that give the impression of lax enforcement of immigration laws by the White House.

Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson told Congress last week that as many as 90,000 illegals could be arrested before the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30.

President Barack Obama last week asked Congress for $3.7 billion to address the crisis, but Republican legislators said Tuesday that they would not approve that amount unless his proposal changes to increase border security and revise laws to deport illegals faster.

House Speaker John Boehner said earlier Tuesday that he expected to unveil a plan by the end of the week.

In the report leaked to Breitbart, EPIC investigators found that:
  • 219 of the 230 illegals interviewed said they came to the United States because of the perception that that they would receive free passes — "permisos" — to stay in the country.
  • Knowledge of permisos was widespread across Central America via word of mouth and media reports. Many left their countries within 30 days of seeing the reports.
  • Many of the illegals said they had met other families — a mother and child under the age of 18, generally — who were heading to the U.S. They planned to surrender to Border Patrol officials because they thought they would most likely be released.
  • The United Nations crime statistics showed a decline in per capita homicide rates in Central America. El Salvador saw the sharpest decline, according to the data, then Honduras and Guatemala.

Established in 1973, the EPIC includes representatives of a wide range of federal law-enforcement agencies, including Customs and Border Protection; Immigration and Customs Enforcement; U.S. Coast Guard; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives; the El Paso Police Department; and the El Paso County Sheriff's Office.

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