An MS-13 gang member utilized an 18-month-old girl with chickenpox to make a fraudulent migrant family claim to gain entry into the U.S., federal officials said.
El Centro Sector Border Patrol agents found a migrant with a small child he allegedly claimed to be his daughter. The child was determined to be infected with chickenpox, according to information obtained from El Centro Sector Border Patrol officials.
Further investigation, including a biometric background investigation, revealed the man to have ties to the MS-13 gang. Investigators also determined the little girl is not the child of the man attempting to make a family migrant claim, officials tweeted.
#BorderPatrol Agent caring for 1.5 yr old child with chickenpox who was part of a fraudulent family unit. The male who the child was with is not related to the child and has ties to MS-13 gang. Our Agents continue to do their best during this crisis. pic.twitter.com/vvCMQVuvA1
— CBP El Centro (@CBPElCentro) June 7, 2019
The migrant could face federal charges related to human smuggling and immigration violations.
Fraudulent family claims by migrants attempting to exploit U.S. immigration laws are being discovered in increasing numbers, Breitbart News reported.
“This fraud may include the use of forged birth certificates or other fraudulent documents to establish parentage,” ICE officials stated in an April press release. “Forged or other fraudulent documents are also being used by adult illegal aliens to falsely claim they are minors under the age of 18.”
In May, Breitbart News reported on a Honduran national using a six-month-old boy as a “fake” son in order to make a fraudulent family claim in the Rio Grande Valley Sector.
“Cases like this demonstrate the real danger that exists to children in this disturbing new trend,” HSI Acting Executive Associate Director Alysa Erichs said in a written statement. “And while we have seen egregious cases of smugglers renting and recycling children, this case involving a six-month-old infant is a new low – and an unprecedented level of child endangerment.”
“Frankly, it’s disgusting,” Acting ICE Director Matthey T. Albence said in a phone interview with Breitbart News. “But, it’s not something that we’re surprised about, unfortunately. We’ve been saying for several years that when we talk about the humanitarian crisis on the border, it’s not just the number of family units and unaccompanied children that are coming to the border illegally, it’s a fact that, based on the laws that Congress has failed to fix, they have created an industry the smuggling and rental of children.”
In an effort to detect and deter these attempts at false family claims, ICE deployed dozens of teams of HSI special agents, Breitbart News reported in April. In early results, ICE told Breitbart News on Thursday that about 25 percent of the cases investigated by HSI resulted in the determination of false family claims. The agency is also testing a “rapid DNA” program to quickly prove or disprove claimed parent-child relationships.
“Along with the DNA testing, we have 130 special agents that have been detailed to the border,” the director explained. “Many of them are trained forensic-interviewers and intelligence analysts. We are working these cases both domestically and internationally to identify these smuggling rings and put them out of business.”