It looks like our porous southwestern border has sprung a few more leaks. Reports are coming in that areas previously thought to be secure along the Texas-Arizona border have seen a record increase in families crossing into the U.S.
The pattern of illegal immigration appears to be shifting yet again as families traveling together - usually mothers and their children - surge across the southwestern border at a record pace, posing more challenges for an Obama administration still struggling to figure out how to handle them.
They are increasingly coming into remote areas of Texas and Arizona where Border Patrol officials thought they had licked the problem. Analysts say it signals that new cartels are involved in trafficking.
Pushed from their homes by poor economies and violent communities, encouraged to come to the U.S. by friends and relatives who have made the crossing, and enticed by lax enforcement, more than 32,000 family members were apprehended at the border through the first six months of the fiscal year. That was more than double the rate of 2015.
This year's total has well surpassed the number of children traveling without parents, whom the Border Patrol calls unaccompanied alien children, caught at the border during the same period last year.
While the majority are still coming through the Rio Grande Valley in Texas, the Border Patrol's Yuma Sector, which covers remote western Arizona and eastern California, has reported a 1,000 percent increase compared with 2014. Laredo and the Big Bend areas of Texas have also seen massive spikes.
Jessica Vaughan, policy studies director at the Center for Immigration Studies, said the cartels that control the approach on the Mexican side of the border in those regions appear to have taken up human smuggling.
She said the fact that families have surged ahead of unaccompanied children suggests Central Americans, who make up most of the new crossers, have learned to game the U.S. immigration system.
"They're not dissuaded from coming by the fear of being detained and sent back - they know that they're still going to be released," she said. "The fact that it's families coming now tells me that this may be people seeking to establish a foothold in the United States and taking advantage of this opportunity. When this surge was mostly kids, it was clear it was a family reunification phenomenon. Now it's starting to look more like an opportunistic flow of people."
Women with children or children alone – the least productive immigrants possible. Somebody has to take care of these illegals, and you're it.
This is exactly the opposite of what a rational immigration policy should be. Forget for a moment that these people are here illegally. They're not going to get a job – perhaps ever. The children will become literally wards of the state, with local communities responsible for feeding, housing, clothing, and educating them.
It wouldn't do any good to "take them out of the shadows." Shadows or no, they are a huge burden and will be so far into the future.