CBP Field Operations Officers Thwart Infant Smuggling Attempt at the Hidalgo International Bridge
HIDALGO, TEXAS—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP), Office of Field Operations at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested a woman from Mission, Texas allegedly attempting to smuggle an infant into the United States this weekend.
The failed smuggling incident occurred on Saturday evening, April 6, 2013 when CBP-OFO officers encountered a maroon 1997 Ford Expedition driven by a 19-year-old female United States citizen from Mission along with an 11-month-old male infant. The adult female presented a State of Texas identification card and a U.S. birth certificate for herself and the infant, who she claimed was her son. The travelers were referred to secondary for further inspection and document review and after further examination it was determined that the infant was not related to the adult female but was in fact a citizen and national of Mexico without valid documents to enter or reside legally in the United States.
CBP-OFO arrested the adult female and she was incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. The infant was released to the biological mother who arrived at the international bridge. CBP-OFO seized the vehicle utilized in the failed smuggling attempt.
"This is another failed child smuggling attempt that our officers have foiled due to outstanding attention to detail," said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas."The ability to analyze the situation at hand and the excellent persistence to uncover inconsistencies has enabled our officers to detect this alleged smuggling violation."