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From the buzzards perspective...

Random articles that are created as I travel, experience new things, meet new people and discover new insights.

  • Writer's pictureEddy Weiss

Faster is not better or safer

Kayla Hamilton (20) was a young autistic woman who moved to Aberdeen Maryland with her boyfriend just before being strangled to death by a 17 year old Malva Salvatrucha (MS-13) gang member. What makes this more than just another news story about a tragic loss of a young lady’s life is that the gang member had entered the United States just last year as an Unaccompanied Alien Child (UAC).

While I am sorry for what has happened to this pretty young girl who was just beginning to live her life, I am glad that we finally have a story in the news that will perhaps bring up questions I have long thought need to be asked. My only hope is that this story does not get buried in the news cycle. It will be difficult to eventually find who is to blame for allowing this dangerous young criminal into the United States but I can say that because of my first-hand experience in dealing with UAC’s (the public knows them as “unaccompanied minors”), that there is no way this is the first time.

When these UAC’s come into the country, they are shuttled through a very automated system that was never designed to validate their age, origin or even if they were actually “unaccompanied”. The system, for over a decade now, has been adjusted to conform to the political pressures of the moment and so lacks in much security. In order to fully know much about these young immigrants, there needs to be time spent on each and that is just not happening; the political energies that have slammed CBP, ICE, ORR and HHS for holding young people too long have created a rapid pace in moving these kids through the system, and out onto the streets.

I remember the time I spent at the Dallas Convention Center as the public screamed about the length of time UAC’s were held and while our present administration found every way to just do things as differently as they could from the way Trump had operated. There was no research into what was best or safest, more efficient or more effective; it was a head-spinning effort to just “not be Trump” and so the time frames were shortened and the number of youth moved grew.

To not be “caught” with young immigrants at the border as the two previous administrations had been, the Biden administration found itself handling the record numbers of UAC’s by racing to create at least 10 emergency shelters creating 16,000 temporary beds in convention centers like the Kay Hutchinson in Dallas. This was back in early 2021 when the efforts worked optically for a while as the shelters were spread out and so there was no real “concentration camp” situations down south, but the problem arose when the rapidly set up system began to fail itself.

There was no way to be checking the background stories of every youth that darkened the thresholds of these shelters. “Rapid” was theme and because of the limited personnel and desire to keep things out of the news, these kids were moved just too fast. I remember conversations with other contractors regarding a lot of the UAC’s we encountered that were obviously already embedded in gang life. It was easy to see some of the 15 and 16 year olds that moved like shadows through the shelters communicating, watching and just waiting to be sent their destinations.

It was easy for the paranoid mind to imagine how many had not come to America but had been sent. It was not hard to imagine for what either.

Was any background check conducted on the UAC that murdered Kayla Hamilton, and if so, what did it reveal? I doubt that anyone was aware of his gang affiliation before he was arrested for the murder.

The system in place requires that a UAC must be handed off to a sponsor in the United States, in other words, they are not just released out the back door of the shelter but who was this gang-banger’s sponsor? The background checks on sponsors falls into the category of little to none. There have been many times in my career working around this system that I have seen sponsors afraid to come and pick up their nephew or cousin or even younger brother because the sponsor themselves are not legal citizens. When you look at the whole of the machine, the present system is perfect for moving young gang members and for human trafficking at the expense of the American taxpayer.

Unknown is whether the UAC in the Maryland murder case applied for a Special Immigrant Juvenile green card, whether he has attended any court proceedings, or whether he’s failed to abide by the terms of ICE’s Alternatives to Detention (ATD) program. As of now, there is no consequences for such activity (or lack thereof). The truth is, probably nobody had any contact with this gangster since he was released from whatever shelter he was in.

Political voices and the complaints of the loudest have got to stop governing how we do our jobs. Our homeland security is at risk as well as the security of young women like Kayla. We need to make sure that if we are going to have a hand in holding them and housing them and then releasing them, that we are given the ability to make sure we know just who we are holding, housing and releasing. It is time for new protocols that make sense not new systems that guarantee the expedient and more comfortable release of what could be threats to our country.


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