HIDALGO, Texas—Officers with U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) at the Hidalgo International Bridge arrested a woman from Houston, Texas after she allegedly attempted to smuggle a one-and-a-half-year-old male toddler into the United States.
“This outstanding example of officer awareness and great observational skills resulted in the detection of this failed smuggling attempt involving an innocent child who is now safe and out of possible harm’s way,” said Efrain Solis Jr., Port Director, Hidalgo/Pharr/Anzalduas. “CBP will seek prosecution to the fullest extent allowed by law on those involved in these types of illicit activities.”
The incident occurred on Saturday evening, March 29 after CBP officers at the Hidalgo-Reynosa International Bridge encountered a 33-year-old female United States citizen in the company of a small child, who arrived as passengers in a Mexico-based taxicab. The adult female presented a U.S. passport card and a U.S. birth certificate for the child, who she claimed as her son and both were referred to secondary for further examination and document review. In secondary, and after further inspection, officers discovered that the child was not related to the adult female and was in fact a citizen from Mexico without proper documents to legally enter or reside in the United States.
CBP arrested the adult female who will be incarcerated pending appearance before a U.S. Federal Magistrate on criminal charges for alleged violation of U.S. immigration law. The child was released to the mother, who arrived to take custody and both returned back to Mexico.
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.