HOUSTON, Texas–As word spreads to Central America that thousands of young illegal immigrants will likely be allowed to stay in the U.S., the number of those crossing the border illegally will likely continue to increase. Many foreign adults have come to believe that if they are accompanied by a child, Border Patrol agents will not turn them away. This has apparently led to a disturbing trend that involves adults “renting” children to enter the U.S.
Texas Congressman Henry Cuellar (D-Laredo, TX) told local media outlet CBS DFW, “I was talking to somebody that worked for Border Patrol, and he said that in the late 80′s there were a lot of kids from EL Salvador coming in and what they were doing is they had a ‘rent-a-kid’ program. In other words they said ‘oh if I come in and I have a kid with me they’ll let me go.'”
The Border Patrol agent apparently told the Congressman, “Henry, I’m seeing this again, I cannot believe it.”
Thousands of illegal immigrants being released in the U.S. each week has lead to “communities in Central America are taking this to mean that if a family or just children can make it to the U.S. border, that border will be held open for them,” Sylvia Longmire, a Breitbart Texas contributing editor and border security expert, said.
Longmire continued, “Many Americans don’t understand the power of word-of-mouth in Latin America; it’s like gossip in a small American town times ten. Word about anything, especially friends or family members going though the northbound migration or southbound deportation process, spreads very quickly.”
Nora Griselda Bercian Diaz, a mother from Guatemala who crossed into the U.S. illegally with her 6-year-old daughter, told local media outlet KRGV that the message being spread in her home country is, “Go to America with your child, you won’t be turned away.”
Bercian Diaz said she thought the U.S. border was open to all families.
Instead of being turned away at the border, most of the illegal migrants are being given a myriad of taxpayer subsidized benefits including housing, food, education, vocational training, recreation, and even legal counsel. On top of this, each week authorities are currently releasing hundreds of illegal immigrants onto U.S. soil. Many of the freed immigrants are told to show up in court at a later date and are then released and reunited with their family members in the U.S.
Breitbart Texas Managing Director Brandon Darby released video footage earlier this week showing a bus station in Laredo, Texas, crowded with illegal immigrants. A Border Patrol agent told Darby that immigrants in the bus station were “family units,” and had all received documentation that allowed them to travel into the U.S. to their destination cities.
It is easy to imagine that the release–coupled with the benefits while in custody–only further incentivizes more illegal crossers.
Back in May Rio Grande Valley Border Patrol spokesman Daniel Tirado told Breitbart Texas that his sector is overwhelmed with the number of illegal immigrants that currently need to be processed. “We’re catching an average of 1,000 per day and our agents are processing them around the clock,” he said.
Now, that number has increased to “about 1,200 to 1,500 people they’re catching a day,” Congressman Cuellar said. “About 20 to 30 percent of them are kids with no parents.”
Follow Kristin Tate on Twitter @KristinBTate.