Border Patrol Cares for Toddler After Smugglers Posing as Family Tried to Enter the US

Last week two presumably illegal aliens tried to gain access to the US by posing as a family, presenting a toddler as their child, but it turned out the child was not theirs.

ICE officers at the Uvalde Border Patrol Station arrested the two adults and took care of the child for nearly 24 hours before it was finally turned over to Health and Human Services.

Illegal immigrants
Border Patrol agent Marlene Castro speaks to a group of illegal immigrants and children who just crossed into the United States from Mexico, in Hidalgo County, Texas, on May 26, 2017. (Benjamin Chasteen/The Epoch Times)

Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said agents “personally cared for the toddler over the course of three shifts,” according to Fox News while the adults awaited their charges.

“Of all the people that smugglers exploit, children are the most vulnerable,” said Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz to the outlet. “Thanks to the cooperative efforts between HSI and Border Patrol, this child was removed from a dangerous situation and properly cared for.”

NTD Photo
A Honduran migrant converses with U.S. border agents on the other side of razor wire after they fired tear gas at migrants trying to cross into the U.S. from Tijuana, Mexico, on Nov. 25, 2018 (AP Photo/Ramon Espinosa)

“The men and women of CBP, they are caring for these kids like they’re their own kids, I’ve seen it,” CBP commissioner Mark Morgan told Fox. “I’ve seen where they brought in their own clothes and toys early on during this crisis for these kids.”

Lawmakers in Washington are clashing over the migrant crisis with each party looking for their own way of humanely bringing the issue to an end.

Illegal immigrants are arrested by ICE
Illegal immigrants are arrested during a targeted enforcement operation conducted by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Feb. 7, 2017. (Charles Reed/U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement via AP)

Under the Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), released on January 24, migrants trying to enter the United States from Mexico without proper documentation, and who claim fear of being sent back to their country of origin, may be returned to Mexico to await their proceedings.

Illegal Immigrants Using ‘Rented’ Children at Border

Earlier this year, a 1-year-old baby that a Honduran man tried to pass off as his child—to gain a quick release from Border Patrol after illegally crossing the border—was determined not to be his.

In 2014, fewer than 1 percent of all men apprehended by Border Patrol in the Rio Grande Valley Sector had a child with them. That number now sits at 50 percent, according to Rodolfo Karisch, chief Border Patrol agent for that sector.

The number of family units crossing illegally has skyrocketed since a judge in California reinterpreted the Flores Settlement Agreement in 2015 to now say that any child, including those with parents, can’t be held longer than 20 days. Previously, that law had only applied to unaccompanied minors. Twenty days is not long enough to adjudicate an asylum case, so with the system overwhelmed with sheer volume, family units are being released within a few days.

In both fiscal 2016 and 2017, the total number of family units that were apprehended by Border Patrol was around 77,000.

However, in fiscal 2018, the numbers jumped to 107,000. And in the first six months of fiscal 2019, the number of family units has shot to almost 190,000.

The vast majority are from Honduras, Guatemala, or El Salvador.

Epoch Times reporter Charlotte Cuthbertson contributed to this report