EL PASO, Texas – U.S. Border Patrol agents from El Paso Sector working in conjunction with agents from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and officers from CBP’s Office of Field Operations (OFO) identify at least one local case in which children are possibly being recycled and forced to undertake the treacherous journey from Central America to the United States.
On Wednesday, Border Patrol Agents and OFO Officers processed family groups in Border Patrol custody. Within those being processed was what appeared to be a family group that caught the attention of one vigilant OFO officer. While in the interview process, the officer noticed several inconsistencies that led him to suspect that the child and the alleged parent were not related. With continued questioning Border Patrol agents, OFO officers, and HSI agents were able to gain enough evidence to determine that the child had been “recycled” in at least two prior instances.
Transnational criminal organizations continue to profit from individuals utilizing loopholes in our immigration system to commit fraud. These groups have no concern for the welfare or safety of the children and family groups being smuggled to the Southwest Border. The U.S. Border Patrol has continuously warned about the existence of this type of illicit activity and exploitation of minors. The diligence, dedication and collaborative efforts between all of the Department of Homeland Security law enforcement agents and officers make our borders and country safer every day.
This case has been referred to HSI for continued investigation.
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 securing the borders of the United States while enforcing hundreds of laws and facilitating lawful trade and travel.