U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents identified a migrant child being smuggled in what they call a fraudulent family unit. Border Patrol agents cared for the small child until officials with Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) arrived.
Early last week, HSI agents identified a child being smuggled with two adults falsely claiming to be the child’s parents, according to Del Rio Sector Border Patrol officials. The two adults crossed the border with the small child and claimed to be a family unit. HSI agents conducted an investigation which concluded the adults had no familial relation to the child.
“HSI’s message is clear – our priority is to protect the children,” Shane Folden, Special Agent in Charge, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) San Antonio said in a written statement. “HSI will continue to partner with the Border Patrol to identify and dismantle the criminal organizations using fraud to smuggle children.”
Border Patrol agents took care of the child for three shifts until ORR officials arrived. The agents provided care and comfort for the migrant child for nearly 24 hours, officials stated.
Officials did not report how the foreign couple came into possession of the child. ICE officials previously told Breitbart Texas that smugglers will often rent or buy children from parents to move their human cargo more easily into the U.S. In some cases, children are kidnapped. Officials have also observed children being “recycled” through the smuggling process.
“Of all the people that smugglers exploit, children are the most vulnerable,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz added. “Thanks to the cooperative efforts between HSI and Border Patrol, this child was removed from a dangerous situation and properly cared for.”
Officials have not yet identified the true parents of the migrant child. Officials arrested the couple who attempted to smuggle the child pending federal charges related to smuggling and immigration violations.