Mexican officials have confirmed that some Tijuana migrants are attempting to buy the children of single mothers in local shelters to make their border crossing easier. It verifies the claims of US border officials that many children who are crossing the border with adults that are not their relatives.
Tijuana authorities are warning migrant mothers to keep their children close and supervised at all times. Groups of men have been approaching single mothers and offering to buy their children so they can get into the US more easily.
The San Diego Union Tribune reported,
“I can’t go to work because I can’t take my eyes off my boys,” said Antonia Portillo Cruz, a 44-year-old migrant from Honduras, who said the men have been targeting the shelter where she stays. She said she witnessed some of the men asking women in the shelter about purchasing their children, but none of them made the offer directly to her. Portillo said the groups of men have been approaching the Iglesia Embajadores de Jesus shelter in Tijuana and offering about 7,000 pesos, or $350, to purchase a child to cross into the United States. She said she fears the requests and the offers of money will turn into demands or kidnappings. Portillo said she never lets her two boys, aged 10 and 8, out of her sight. “They want to rob our kids so they can cross into the United States,” she said angrily.
The Flores agreement is the problem- that court document states that the US cannot hold migrant children and the people with whom they’ve crossed the border for longer than 20 days. The world knows about it, and they are flocking to the border. Consequently, they are usually released until the “asylum hearing” – only they tend to disappear instead of show up at the hearings.
Former DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told the National Sheriffs’ Association:
“…when a child is apprehended with their parents, DHS is required – due to various court rulings – to release that child within 20 days. As I mentioned earlier, this effectively creates a “get out of jail free” card for families and groups who pose as families. Unsurprisingly, word of this loophole has spread across the world. From October 2017 to this February, DHS saw a staggering 315 percent increase in illegal aliens fraudulently using children to pose as family units to gain entry into the country, compared to the previous year.”
Shelter owners in Tijuana are taking measures to prevent the groups of male Tijuana migrants from accosting the women or kidnapping the children by padlocking the gates, and requiring parents to watch their children at all times. The groups appear to also be targeting unaccompanied minors. The shelter owners say that as far as they can tell, none of the women have accepted the offers of the male Tijuana migrants.
Presenting fake documents is also a problem. NPR wrote in April,
In the Yuma, Ariz., Border Patrol sector alone, there have been more than 450 instances of “fraudulent family units” since October, according to a local spokesman.
In El Paso, Texas, Border Patrol Special Operations Supervisor Ramiro Cordero has noticed it, too. “We found cases where adults have been coming in with kids who are not their kids, yet they’re claiming that they’re their children. We found birth certificates that have been forged,” Cordero said an interview.
Currently “fake families” compromise approximately a third of all illegals coming through. The problem has been growing and until the immigration loopholes are fixed, it’s a problem that will continue to grow.
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