Hidalgo, TX.-U .S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers working at the Hidalgo/Reynosa International Bridge arrested a U.S. citizen man from Weslaco, Texas for allegedly attempting to smuggle a 10-year-old Mexican national child into the United States.
On November 19, 2011 CBP officers working at the Hidalgo Port of Entry encountered a northbound gold 1996 Ford Windstar minivan driven by a 34-year-old male U.S. citizen from Weslaco. The driver allegedly presented a U.S. birth certificate for himself and his presumed minor female daughter. The vehicle and occupants were referred to secondary for further inspection and it was there that CBP officers discovered that the child was not related to the adult traveler but was in fact a Mexican national with no valid documents to enter or reside in the U.S.
The male traveler remains incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for violations of U.S. immigration law. CBP officers were able to contact the biological parents and the mother arrived at the port of entry to take custody of her child subsequently returning back to Mexico together.
Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr said, "Our officers' excellent observational techniques and keen interviewing skills allow for these types of interceptions to be made. The safety and well-being of children is always of utmost importance to CBP."
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.