Border Patrol agents in the Yuma Sector rescued two teenage Guatemalans allegedly being trafficked into the U.S. for forced labor. The agents found the teens with a group of eight illegal immigrants who crossed the border in southwest Arizona.
Yuma Station agents arrested a group of eight illegal immigrants near the San Luis Port of Entry on Sunday morning. Border Patrol officials reported that all eight were from Guatemala.
During the interview and background investigation, one of the unaccompanied minors, a 16-year-old male, said his parents were still in Guatemala and he was traveling to a relative in the U.S. Agents continued the interview and eventually determined the woman he was to meet was not actually a relative. They also determined she was making the claim so that the juvenile would be released into her custody.
Agents questioned the Guatemalan teen further and found out that his parent made arrangements for the boy to be smuggled to Michigan where he would “perform unspecified work for an unidentified person.”
The agents then interviewed a second Guatemalan juvenile, a 17-year-0ld male. The teen had the same “relative’s” phone number and told an almost identical story as the first victim.
The agents processed the two Guatemalan teens as Unaccompanied Alien Children. They will be turned over to immigration officials for a determination of their disposition.
Breitbart Texas reached out to Yuma Sector officials and requested information about the female “relative.”
“The incident is still under investigation and we cannot comment any further as to what happened to the individual claiming to be a relative,” Yuma Sector officials responded.
The adult Guatemalans will be processed for immigration violations per Yuma Sector guidelines.
Human traffickers benefit to the tune of about $600 million per year from the forced labor of trafficking victims, a 2017 human trafficking report from the University of Texas stated. As could be predicted, much of this comes in industries that tend to exploit the labor of illegal immigrants. Some of those industries include migrant farming, construction, kitchen workers at restaurants, cleaning services, and landscaping companies.
There is a cost to U.S. taxpayers for human trafficking as well. Researchers concluded taxpayers will spend about $6.5 billion on victims of human trafficking victims. Costs borne by taxpayers include:
- Providing care to victims and survivors of minor and youth sex trafficking in Texas,
- law enforcement and investigation,
- prosecution of traffickers,
- and other social services