HIDALGO, TEXAS—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested a woman from Princeton, N.J. who allegedly attempted to smuggle a female child into the United States.
The incident occurred on Sunday night, April 21, when a 45-year-old female United States citizen who was traveling with three minor female children arrived at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge in a taxicab. The adult female presented a U.S. passport for herself and three U.S. birth certificates for the children, who she claimed were her kids. A CBP officer referred them to secondary for further inspection and document review and after additional questioning, it was revealed that one of the girls, an 8-year-old minor, was not related to the adult female. CBP officers discovered that she was in fact a citizen from Guatemala without valid documents to legally enter or reside in the United States.
CBP officers 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 two biological U.S. citizen sisters were turned over to (CPS) Child Protective Services and the Guatemalan minor was released to a U.S. Health and Human Services Office of Resettlement (HHS-ORR) facility where she'll be temporarily housed.
"Our officers have detected another failed alleged child smuggling attempt due to outstanding interviewing techniques," said Efrain Solis Jr., port director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. "We will arrest those involved in these type of illicit activities and CBP will seek prosecution to the fullest extent allowed by law."
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.