Former Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach is one of the leading advocates for strict immigration enforcement, the building of a wall, and the changing of our laws to reflect our new position on this worsening crisis. In an op-ed for Breitbart this week, Kobach outlined the three “magnets” in current U.S. policy that are driving 10,000-immigrant strong caravans to trek through the wilderness to the United States. If we want to really clamp down on this unsustainable situation, he writes, it is incumbent on Congress and the president to fix these issues at once.
The first problem, Kobach writes, is that “we are giving migrants employment authorization right away.” Instead of taking a skeptical approach to the thousands of immigrants who come to this country seeking asylum (90% of whom will never be approved), we are giving them the “credible fear” card. This is essentially a “stay here as long as you can” card. And from the way these migrants have proven adept at skipping their hearings indefinitely, that’s very long indeed. In addition to letting these migrants go, we are authorizing them to get work permits that enable “the alien to obtain employment and compete against U.S. citizens and against those aliens who did it the right way by entering the United States legally,” he laments.
The second major problem, he writes, is that “the asylum hearing dates are five to six years in the future.” Partially due to the insane surge of illegal immigration we’ve had over the last year, there is an immigration backlog in the courts that will take years to sort out. While that’s happening, he notes, illegal immigrants “get to work legally in the United States.”
And if they can’t make enough money from their de facto work visas?
Well, that brings Kobach to the third problem:
It appears that we may be giving the migrants EBT cards. Many of the aliens who claim asylum are now applying for free EBT card for SNAP (food stamps) benefits. The cards come pre-charged with money so the migrants can start spending, courtesy of the American taxpayer. Depending on how many are in the group, the card value can range from about $200 a month for an individual to well over $1000 a month for a family unit, depending on its size. And word has gotten out. As a Border Patrol agent told me, one newly arrived migrant came up and asked about the form to fill out so she could get her “free food card.”
All told, he writes, current U.S. law has created the exact conditions for the crisis we’re currently experiencing. If you want to come to the U.S. legally, you have to wait in line for years to be granted a work permit that will expire in three years. If you come on the caravans, you get an immediate work permit…that doesn’t even run out. Ever! When you set incentives up in this way, you can expect more people to join the caravans than the legal path of entry.
“The alien who breaks the law,” he writes, “is treated far better than the alien who follows the law.”
To solve this crisis, we have to first pass laws that make sense. But first, we need a Congress actually willing to do so.