WASHINGTON—A 33-year-old Honduran male illegally crossed the U.S. border with his 15-year-old “son” recently.
After an investigation, it was discovered that the man had borrowed the boy from the boy’s mother in Honduras to use in an attempt to be released into the United States quickly as a family unit. He presented a fake birth certificate for the boy.
Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents are uncovering thousands of such stories as smugglers and illegal aliens learn that a child is an adult’s ticket into the United States, due to legal loopholes.
In this case, the child didn’t have any family in the United States, and the man told agents he had planned to drop the boy off with an unknown male in Nebraska. “He also stated that smuggling fees are considerably less expensive when adults are traveling with a child,” according to case notes obtained by The Epoch Times. The man confessed when he was faced with a DNA test. He was charged with alien smuggling.
“By requiring the release of family units before the conclusion of immigration proceedings, seemingly well-intentioned court rulings and legislation are being exploited by transnational criminal organizations and human smugglers,” Matthew Albence, acting director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a congressional hearing on July 25.
“These despicable smugglers have created an entire illicit industry with untold millions of dollars being made through the sale, rental, and recycling of children—utilized by unscrupulous adults to pose as family units.”
HSI, a division of ICE, has sent 4,000 agents to help Border Patrol investigate fake families entering along the southern border.
Since mid-April when the HSI agents were deployed, more than 5,800 fake families have been discovered, according to Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Almost 15 percent of all family units that Border Patrol agents refer to HSI have been found to be fraudulent.
Read the rest of the article here: Children at Center of Booming Smuggling Industry