CBP Officers At South Texas International Bridge Avert Infant Smuggling Attempt
Hidalgo, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers working at the Pharr/Reynosa International Bridge, arrested a female U.S. citizen from Edinburg, Texas for allegedly attempting to smuggle a 10-month-old Mexican national infant into the United States.
On Monday, November 14, CBP officers working at the Pharr International Bridge came in contact with a 2002 Chevrolet Trailblazer and its occupants; a female U.S. citizen, age 37, from Edinburg and three minor children. The driver allegedly presented a U.S. passport card for herself, her 16-year-old daughter and State of Texas birth certificates for the three-year-old girl and 10-month-old male infant who were supposedly her niece and nephew. The vehicle and occupants were referred to secondary for further inspection where CBP officers later established that the infant boy 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 female traveler remains incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for violations of U.S. immigration law. CBP turned her 16-year-old daughter to an adult family member and the three-year-old niece to her biological parents. CBP officers were able to contact the infant's biological parents who also arrived to take their baby and returned back to Mexico.
Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr said, "Our officers' ability to detect smuggling attempts allows us to impede these types of illegal activities. Having intercepted this infant and returned him to his parents in Mexico shows the right balance of enforcing immigration law and preserving the safety and best interests of the child. The well-being of children is always of great importance to CBP."