‘It’s definitely an escalating trend that we’re seeing…’
(Kaylee McGhee, Liberty Headlines) The Department of Homeland Security said it has stopped more than 1,000 fraudulent families at the southern border over the past seven months.
The rise of trafficking at the border has forced Border Patrol to implementing additional measures to prevent migrant adults from using someone else’s children to gain access to the U.S.
One such measure is a new DNA testing program to match children with their parents and weed out individuals who attempt to get into the country by seeking asylum.
“It’s definitely an escalating trend that we’re seeing,” a DHS official said, according to the Washington Times.
Migrants prefer to travel in families because it’s usually easier to gain access to the U.S. through asylum proceedings. And due to a 2015 court ruling, adults that have kids with them are nearly impossible to deport.
Families can only be held in detention for about 20 days, less than half the time of individual migrants. And because the asylum process is so backlogged, most families get released into U.S. cities before they even appear before a judge.
According to ICE, throughout April alone, border agents interviewed more than 100 family units and found evidence of child-smuggling in more than a quarter of cases.
In one case, the agency special agents identified two suspect family units presenting themselves as two fathers with their sons on April 22. The agency said the four individuals, two of whom were found to be 23-year-old men pretending to be minors, are now being prosecuted for visa fraud and making false statements.
The Obama administration reportedly warned the courts that the ruling would result in an overwhelming number of asylum claims, but judges ignored the DHS. The numbers show, however, that young children and teenagers are being “abducted” and trafficked by migrant adults.
DHS has more than 1,000 “confirmed” cases, but those are just the families they’ve caught, an official said.
“The whole goal here is to identify these fake family units,” an official said.
“By fraudulently entering as a family unit or unaccompanied minor, illegal aliens can exploit loopholes in immigration laws to enter the U.S. and avoid detention,” ICE said.