In the silvery-blue light of dusk, 20 Brazilians glided across the Rio Grande in rubber rafts propelled by Mexican smugglers who leaned forward and breast-stroked through the gentle current.
Once on the U.S. side, the Brazilians scrambled ashore and started looking for the Border Patrol. Their quick and well-rehearsed surrender was part of a growing trend that is demoralizing the Border Patrol and beckoning a rising number of illegal immigrants from countries beyond Mexico.
"We used to chase them; now they're chasing us," Border Patrol Agent Gus Balderas said as he frisked the Brazilians and collected their passports late last month.
Ok, ok, you're first reaction is, "what is this April 1st?"
Well, no, it's not. It's the way immigration law works:
The group was detained overnight and given a court summons that allowed them to stay in the United States pending an immigration hearing. Then a Border Patrol agent drove them to the McAllen bus station, where they continued their journey into America.
The formal term for the court summons is a "notice to appear." Border Patrol agents have another name for it. They call it a "notice to disappear."
With Mexicans, the Border Patrol can immediately send them back to Mexico. But with others, they have to be "processed".
Now, common sense says you hold them until they are processed within the system, correct?
Wrong. As noted above, they're given a summons to appear, and then, with the blessings of the Border Patrol (and that ride to the bus station), they disappear into the interior of the US.
How bad is it?
Of the 8,908 notices to appear that the immigration court in nearby Harlingen issued last year to non-Mexicans, 8,767 failed to show up for their hearings, according to statistics compiled by the Justice Department's Executive Office of Immigration Review. That is a no-show rate of 98 percent.
98%? Truly a successful program wouldn't you say?
As word of this border loophole filters back to Central and South America, the volume of people coming to exploit it is likely to grow, according to Border Patrol agents.
Apprehension statistics bolster their assertion. Arrests of non-Mexicans along the U.S.-Mexico border totaled 14,935 in 1995, 28,598 in 2000 and 65,814 last year. In the first eight months of this federal fiscal year, which began Oct. 1, more than 85,000 have been apprehended. Nearly all are no-shows at their court hearings, but comprehensive federal figures are not available.
Welcome to the law of unintended consequences. And, of course try to assure me all of those 65,814 were "Central and South Americans". Hey, if you can buy the crock that our borders are secure, I can buy the crock that says nothing but Central and South Americans are using the loophole.
Then again, it wouldn't suprise me if the boys and girls of the Border Patrol have been dropping off a few guys calling themselves Brazilians at the bus stop who might really answer to "Abu" and "Mohammed" if anyone were to listen closely. Or maybe not. Maybe they, the potential terrorists, just need to use a group of Brazilians as their stalking horse:
Many Border Patrol agents express frustration over the dilemma. They also worry that the high volume of non-Mexicans is taking up much of their time and might be making it easier for potential terrorists to slip past. Some said they spend much of their 10-hour shift processing non-Mexicans.
No telling who came across after those 20 Brazilians tied up the Border Patrol agents processing them, is there?
Something else scary about this scenario: regardless what the BP is telling the public, nothing is known about most of these people released into the American population.
They generally have no identification, you accept at face value who they claim to be. No foreign checks are made, only national criminal checks. If they have never been to the U.S. before, or if they have and were never arrested, you have no realistic idea who they are.
This to me is the scariest aspect of this whole program, and the government just goes about its’ business with its’ head up its’ ass.
we need to hve workers here fine.we also need to have honest imigrants. if u give amnisty to 15 million illegles u just gave amnisty to 15 million people who are criminals who have no regard for the laws of our country. i allways here they will only do the jobs we wont well that is a crock i was raised near palm springs ca. i started roofing in 1980.about 4 years after i started roofing it was getting to the point were when i went to a track of houses and asked who was doing the roofing on the houses no one spoke english. i would call border patrol cause these illegles were taking away work and driving down the wages. when i started roofing installing a tile roof on track houses paid $15 per 100sq ft. when i said the heck with soutern ca. it was paying $10 per 100 sq ft (basicly $50 or more less per day) in 1990. i came back in 2004 and the wage was about $15-$20 per sq but no americans working the trade and some of the worst work id seen in my career. illeagles dont do the work americans wont they drive the wage down in a trade till americans wont do it for that price then raise the price of that paticular trade and wont hire americans to work in that trade ive ran a company in san bernadino ca for two years and the owner (ex illegle who married mexican american)refuses to hire american people its happening all accross the u.s. they broke the dry wallers union then unionized with in two years wke up you liberals alot of them do not want to become american citizens they want a free ride were they collect welfare work and get free medical cause they dont use there real name or have id to track to try to colect on hospital bills. every illegle that has a baby here cost the tax payer apprx $7500 dolars b4 imunization scooling welfare ect. it comes out to apprrx $180,000 for each one wake up and smell the cofee. it is not good for our economy and god help our children when you get your field of work drug threw the mud mabey you will see watch out its comminglook at the plight of americans out of ca. its because of rising crime rates more gangs lower wages ect. illeagles that own buisnesses do not hire americans. sounds pregidous to me . oh forgot u cant b e predidous unless u r american