Migrant Prosecuted in Texas for Alleged Fake Family Claim at Border

Migrant families crossing border in South Texas. (File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector)
File Photo: U.S. Border Patrol/Rio Grande Valley Sector

A Honduran man faces federal charges in South Texas for allegedly making a false familial claim to get into the United States.

Rio Grande Valley Sector Chief Patrol Agent Brian Hastings tweeted that federal prosecutors filed charges against a previously deported Honduran man who allegedly attempted to make his way into the United States by claiming an 11-month-old child was his own. The chief said the boy was reunited with his mother the following day when she was arrested for illegally entering the United States.

“These senseless tactics endanger children’s lives every day!” Hastings tweeted

In April, Yuma Sector Border Patrol agents identified two more fraudulent family claims while processing large groups of migrants who illegally crossed the border.

Yuma Sector agents apprehended a 36-year-old man traveling with an eight-year-old girl over the weekend. During processing, agents discovered discrepancies in the stories of the man and child, according to information obtained from Yuma Sector Border Patrol officials.

Further investigation revealed the 8-year-old girl was not related to the 36-year-old man at all. Officials described the man as being a friend of the mother who is still in Brazil. Agents separated the pair and processed them according to CBP guidelines, officials stated.

Agents also processed an alleged mother-daughter duo at the border over the weekend. The two Romanian nationals entered the U.S. illegally and claimed to be mother and child. Agents later discovered the 40-year-old woman is the aunt of the 16-year-old Romanian teen. Agents separated them under the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act after discovering the fraudulent family claim.

During the 2019 border crisis, the Trump administration shifted U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations resources to the border to tackle the growing numbers of fraudulent family claims, Breitbart Texas reported.

“ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is redirecting resources to the border in response to cases of fake families using forged documents to illegally enter our country and avoid detention. Our highly-skilled teams are working to stop individuals, networks and organizations facilitating child smuggling and document fraud,” then ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence said in a written statement. “ICE along with our partners at CBP, remain committed to protecting children by ensuring they are not used as pawns by individuals attempting to gain entry to the U.S. through fraud.”

Agents found more than 200 fraudulent family claims during the first six months of the operation.

“Frankly, it’s disgusting,” Albence said in a phone interview with Breitbart Texas in May 2019. “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.”

“These kids are being released and sent back across the border, whether it’s to Mexico or to the Northern Triangle and being utilized again for this exact same purpose.” the ICE director explained.

Breitbart Texas reached out to the U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Texas and Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol officials for additional details on the case described above by Chief Hastings. An immediate response was not available by press time.

Bob Price serves as associate editor and senior news contributor for the Breitbart Texas-Border team. He is an original member of the Breitbart Texas team. Price is a regular panelist on Fox 26 Houston’s What’s Your Point? Sunday-morning talk show. Follow him on Twitter @BobPriceBBTX and Facebook.

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