HIDALGO, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested a 20-year-old female United States citizen from Maryland after allegedly attempting to smuggle a seven-month-old infant into the United States.
“Our officers’ outstanding observational skills and inspection techniques resulted in the discovery of this failed infant smuggling attempt at our border crossing,” said Port Director Efrain Solis Jr., Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “Those people encountered under these circumstances will face the fullest punishment allowed by our immigration laws.”
On Jan. 7, CBP officers working at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge encountered an adult female traveling with two children, both under one year of age, in a taxicab. The occupants were referred to secondary for document verification, as the adult female presented U.S. birth certificates for both and claimed that one child was hers and the other was her nephew. In secondary, officers discovered that the five-month-old female was truly the female’s daughter and a U.S. citizen, although the seven-month-old male infant was not related, and not a U.S. citizen, but rather a citizen from Mexico without valid documents to legally enter or reside in the United States.
In another unrelated incident on the same date, at the Pharr International Bridge, CBP officers discovered that a 19-year-old male from Guanajuato, Mexico was attempting to enter the United States utilizing a valid U.S. birth certificate belonging to someone else.
CBP Field Operations arrested both adult travelers who will be incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. federal magistrate, on charges of alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. The woman’s daughter was released to family members and the baby boy was released to the true parents, who arrived at the international bridge and subsequently returned to Mexico.
CBP’s Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection is the unified border agency within the Department of Homeland Security charged with the management, control and protection of our nation's borders at and between the official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.