CBP Officers at the Hidalgo, Texas International Bridge Foil Child Smuggling Attempt
Hidalgo, Texas-U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested a woman from Pharr, Texas on an alleged child smuggling violation.
On Tuesday evening a 21-year-old female U.S. citizen from Pharr arrived at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge as a pedestrian accompanied by a minor female child. The adult female presented a Texas identification card for herself and a U.S. birth certificate for the 12-year-old female, who she claimed was her neighbor's daughter. A CBP officer referred them both to secondary for further document review and it was there that officers discovered that the birth certificate did not belong to the minor female and that she was in fact a Mexican citizen without valid documents to legally enter or reside in the United States.
The adult female traveler was incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for violation of U.S. immigration law. The minor female was released to the grandparents who arrived at the port and they all returned back to Mexico.
"This was another failed child smuggling attempt which our officers detected and have allowed the child to be reunited with their family thus preventing any possible harm towards the young girl." said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr, Anzalduas. "Smuggling of persons is an offense that CBP takes very seriously and will arrest those that violate this 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.