August 2, 2019 | From Epoch Times
Children are being rented, bought, recycled, and kidnapped so that single adults, mostly men from Central America, can gain quick release into the United States after crossing the border illegally.
The cost of renting a child varies.
“We’ve had indications … that it could cost anywhere from a few hundred—or even in some cases, less than $100—up to $1,000 or more,” said Kevin McAleenan, acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), during a congressional hearing on July 18.
McAleenan said in one case, a 51-year-old illegal alien had purchased a 6-month-old baby for $80 in Guatemala so that he could easily get into the United States. The man, a Honduran national, confessed to border agents when he was faced with a DNA test.
“We’ve seen all manner of smuggling organizations communicating to potential customers and to those crossing the border how to bring a child with them to be allowed to stay in the United States,” McAleenan said. “They’ve been active in advertising, literally on Facebook and on the radio in Central America.”
Homeland Security Investigations, a division of ICE, sent 400 agents to El Paso and Rio Grande Valley, Texas, in mid-April to interview families that Border Patrol suspected were fake. In the last eight weeks, HSI special agents have identified 5,500 fraudulent families—about 15 percent of all cases referred.
McAleenan said agents have uncovered 921 fake documents and 615 individuals have been prosecuted for trafficking or smuggling a child.
“That tells me that we might be scratching the surface of this problem and the number of children being put at risk might be even higher,” he said.
“Everybody knows that if they bring a child, they’ll be allowed to stay in the United States—they call it a ‘passport for migration.’ I heard that directly from a gentleman from Huehuetenango, the western-most province of Guatemala.”
He said almost every summary of the cases he has seen mentions the same thing: ‘The subject stated that he made the attempt because he heard in his hometown that anyone traveling to the United States with a child will be released.”
The southern border has become so overwhelmed that most illegal aliens don’t even claim credible fear for asylum anymore, knowing they’ll still be released expeditiously into the United States—especially if they have a child.
In Yuma, Arizona, less than 10 percent of illegal aliens make an asylum claim, sector Chief Anthony Porvaznik said on April 17.
Since Oct. 1, 2018, more than 300,000 children have crossed the southern border, according to McAleenan. Most of them entered as part of a family unit, but 67,000 also entered as unaccompanied minors. Family units increased by 469 percent from the first nine months of the 2018 fiscal year to the same period in the 2019 fiscal year.
The legal loophole that is fueling the sharp increase in family units was opened in 2015 by a California judge, who amended the Flores Settlement Agreement to prohibit the detention of families for more than 20 days. Previously, the 20-day rule was applied to unaccompanied minors only.
One of the most telling statistics is that of men crossing the border with a child. In 2014, fewer than 1 percent of all men apprehended by Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley Sector had a child with them. That number now sits at 50 percent, according to Rodolfo Karisch, chief Border Patrol agent for that sector.