LAREDO, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at the Laredo Port of Entry this weekend uncovered an alleged attempt to bring in five Mexican children with entry documents belonging to other people.
“Our frontline CBP officers working in the bus environment shut down a significant smuggling attempt involving five children,” said Joseph Misenhelter, CBP Port Director, Laredo. “This enforcement action shows that our officers remain dedicated to upholding the CBP mission while also ensuring the safety of children involved in these ill-conceived and dangerous attempts to circumvent the nation’s immigration laws.”
The enforcement action developed when a female bus passenger, a 31-year-old U.S. citizen from Winston-Salem, North Carolina, applied for admission to the U.S. at Lincoln-Juarez Bridge on Sept. 6 presenting a U.S. passport. The passenger also presented U.S. birth certificates for nine minor children. A CBP officer referred the passengers to secondary for further inspection. CBP officers conducted further review and determined that five of the children, including three boys and two girls, ranging in age from four to 12 years old, were Mexican citizens with no legal documents to enter or reside in the U.S. Four of the children were determined to be actual U.S. citizens and they were turned over to a family member. CBP officers processed the 31-year-old woman for alleged violations of federal immigration law. The five Mexican citizen children were processed and turned over for placement in a U.S. Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement facility.
CBP Field Operations at Laredo Port of Entry is part of the South Texas Campaign, which leverages federal, state and local resources to combat transnational criminal organizations. To report suspicious activity, such as smuggling of drugs, people, weapons, currency or commercial fraud, send an email to ReportSmuggling@cbp.dhs.gov.
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.