ANZALDUAS, Texas—U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Office of Field Operations (OFO) at the Anzalduas International Bridge arrested a 20-year-old woman from Mission, Texas after a failed child smuggling attempt involving a three-year-old child was detected.
“CBP Field Operations takes all human smuggling cases very seriously, especially those involving children,” said Acting Port Director Javier Cantu, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas Port of Entry. “CBP has no tolerance for these types of smuggling cases and will seek the fullest prosecution allowed by law.”
On Dec. 15, CBP officers assigned to the Anzalduas-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a woman with two children in a white 2002 GMC Yukon SUV. The woman presented a U.S. passport for herself and two U.S. birth certificates for the two little girls, claiming one as her daughter and the other as her niece. After some initial questions at primary inspection, a CBP officer referred them to secondary for further inspection. It was there that officers discovered that only the six-year-old girl was truly her daughter and that the three-year-old was not related, and was a citizen of Mexico without valid documents to legally enter or reside in the United States.
CBP OFO arrested the woman, who will be incarcerated pending an appearance before a U.S. federal magistrate for alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. The child from Mexico was released to her biological mother, and subsequently both returned to Mexico. CBP also seized the Yukon utilized in the failed smuggling attempt.
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.