Brownsville, Texas - U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers at a Brownsville/Matamoros International Bridge arrested a woman from Georgia who allegedly attempted to smuggle a seven-year-old girl into the United States.
On April 5, CBP officers working at the Brownsville Veteran's International Bridge encountered a northbound brown 2002 Ford Expedition and its five occupants. The driver, a 36-year-old female United States citizen from Georgia presented a U.S. passport for herself and for three of the children. She also presented a U.S. birth certificate for a 7-year-old girl. The vehicle and occupants were referred to secondary for further inspection and document review. In secondary CBP discovered that the three children ages, 11, 14 and 17 were her biological children but that the 7-year-old girl was not a U.S. citizen but in fact a Mexican national without documents to enter or reside in the U.S.
The female traveler was incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. federal magistrate on criminal charges for violation of U.S. immigration law. The adult traveler's three children were released to the custody of Department of Child Protective Services and the undocumented child was released to a Health and Human Services-Office of Refugee Resettlement facility where she will be temporarily housed.
Michael Freeman, Port Director, Brownsville Port of Entry said, "Human smuggling is a criminal offense which CBP takes very seriously. We will arrest violators and the U.S. Attorney's Office will prosecute to the fullest extent of the 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 official ports of entry. CBP is charged with keeping terrorists and terrorist weapons out of the country while enforcing hundreds of U.S. laws.