Mindful of the leftist-led uproar over family separations at the border, immigration scammers are now taking advantage of American good will by “renting” children for cash to illegal aliens crossing the border to help them obtain quick release by the U.S. Border Patrol.
Depending on where you sit, it’s either human-trafficking or social-justice entrepreneurship in action. It was made possible when a leftist, Obama-appointed judge arrogated to herself the role of creating U.S. immigration policy and in the process incentivized the behavior.
Being accompanied by a child is a get-out-of-detention-free card, Charlotte Cuthbertson reports in The Epoch Times.
“You can walk through any of our processing centers and you can see that there are potentially parents, or adults with children, that there may not be a familial relationship,” said Raul Ortiz, Border Patrol chief for Del Rio, Texas.
“There’s probably many more cases like that happening across all nine southwest border sectors on any given day. Really, if you think about it, it’s human trafficking.”
“These kids are being trafficked through multiple countries and put through terrible conditions,” Ortiz said. “If we don’t do something to stop this, if we don’t make a stand on the border security and immigration problem right now, there’s going to be more of these kids that are going to be subjected to some serious harm.”
The news report came as U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced it is shipping agents and experts to the border to “investigate child smuggling and document fraud used to exploit family immigration loopholes.”
In 2014, under 1 percent of all men detained by the Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley Sector had a child with them. Now the figure is 50 percent, according to Rodolfo Karisch, the sector’s chief Border Patrol agent.
In both fiscal 2016 and 2017, about 77,000 individuals arrived as members of a family, but by the fiscal 2008 the figure had soared to 107,000. In the first six months of fiscal 2019, which began Oct. 1, 2018, the fiscal-year-to-date figure has skyrocketed to nearly 190,000.
The overwhelming majority come from El Salvador, Guatemala, or Honduras.
These big figures can be traced back to decisions rendered in 2015 and later by U.S. District Judge Dolly Maizie Gee of the Central District of California who found the U.S. Department of Homeland Security in contempt of the Flores Settlement Agreement of 1979, which arose out of a court case called Flores v. Reno. The settlement established standards for the detention and release of unaccompanied minors taken into custody by immigration authorities. The settlement mandates that the government try to place the minors with a parent, legal guardian, adult relative, or a licensed program.
Gee ruled that any child, including those with parents, cannot be detained more than 20 days, which means asylum claimants are now routinely released before their claims are finally determined. The cases, which are growing in number, cannot be adjudicated in such an abbreviated period, so many of those detained can’t be held for long.
“Make no mistake about it, the word is getting out: if you are part of a family, if you bring a child, you will be released,” Karisch told a U.S. Senate panel April 9.
The Border Patrol recently intercepted a text message from an MS-13 gang member who was posing as a member of a family unit.
The message stated: “You should see the amount of Hondurans that are traveling with a child. And they pay less to the smugglers in order to be delivered to the Border Patrol. And it’s a direct trip. They have them a few days with Border Patrol and afterwards, they are released. There are a lot of people with that law. That is the easiest way right now. Entire families are coming.”
A group of 35 illegal aliens was captured by the Border Patrol on April 18 in the Rio Grande Valley.
One woman, who claimed to be five months pregnant, reported that her spouse and child had crossed the international border on a different day together as a family unit.
Families are now splitting up and crossing the border to make sure everyone in their party is released soon after apprehension, according to Carlos Ruiz, a Border Patrol agent in the valley.
“Because if they came as a whole family … we can hold one of the parents for however long we want to,” Ruiz said “We’re not going to separate the child from either the mother or the father, but we will separate the father or the mother from them.”
In the Yuma, Arizona sector, every day an average of three fake families surface.
Sector Chief Anthony Porvaznik said in the previous six months his agents have identified 550 fraudulent family units.
“And we know we’ve missed many, many more, simply because we’re overwhelmed with the sheer numbers,” he said.
“And so those are kids that are being rented, for lack of a better word, to an adult to format a fraudulent family unit so that they can be released in the United States and then that child will be recycled back to its country of origin—usually Guatemala, in our case here in Yuma.”
Some adult border-crossers are altering their birth documents to indicate they are juveniles, to guarantee a speedy release from custody inside the U.S., Porvaznik said.
“So there’s a huge fraud problem that’s going on with this process,” he said.
“Our agents do a great job with trying to detect [fraud], but the problem is, is when we have 1,000, 1,100 people in custody, really our goal is to get those people processed … we need to move those people out of our custody.”
And if these fraud-happy border-jumpers and illegal aliens wait around long enough, they’ll receive amnesty and all will be forgiven.