PHARR, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Pharr International Bridge arrested a 32-year-old woman from McAllen, Texas after a failed attempt to smuggle two undocumented kids from Mexico.
“Once again our officers have detected and thwarted a child smuggling attempt and these youngsters have been protected due to our officers’ excellent inspectional techniques,” said Acting Port Director Javier Cantu, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “The well-being of children is of utmost concern for us at CBP.”
On July 23, CBP officers working at the Pharr International Bridge encountered an adult female Mexican citizen driving a brown 2003 Dodge Caravan minivan arriving from Mexico. The adult female presented her legal permanent resident card for herself and also presented five U.S. birth certificates for the children that were travelling with her, claiming them as her own. The adult female and all the kids were referred for a secondary examination and document review and subsequently, officers discovered that the two boys, ages 11 and 13, were not related to the woman. CBP OFO further discovered that the two boys were from Mexico and did not have valid documents to legally enter or reside in the United States.
CBP OFO seized the vehicle and the woman will be incarcerated pending an appearance before a U.S. federal magistrate on criminal charges for alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. The two undocumented boys were released to the biological mother, who arrived at the international bridge and the three U.S. citizen girls, ages 2, 8 and 12 were released to a family member.
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.