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Smugglers Exploit U.S. Law, Children to Churn Profit – Committee on Homeland Security

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Smugglers Exploit U.S. Law, Children to Churn Profit

CBP Cameras Caught Armed Men Escorting Mother and 8-year-old Child to Border

Human smugglers do not care about the well-being of migrants they’re exploiting – they only care about profit. Often, migrants must walk hundreds of miles across rugged terrain without access to adequate food water and shelter – and that’s only one leg of the journey. Smugglers have been known to pack migrants in box trucks, sometimes causing them to suffocate, force them to hang onto flatbeds, and squeeze them into trunks of vehicles.

As a result, more than 10,000 migrants have been sent to a hospital or medical facility this fiscal year after being smuggled to the U.S.-Mexico Border. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) officers have spent 116,481 hours ensuring migrants have access to medical care, which diverts them from their primary job of securing our border from national security threats.

Smugglers Put Lives of Children in Danger

  • Border Patrol Agents rescued an abandoned 3-year-old in a cornfield along the border earlier this week. His name and phone number were written on his shoes.
  • Smugglers abandoning young children is unfortunately becoming a new trend: a 2-year-old girl was recently left in a riverbank with her name and phone number written on a t-shirt.
  • Border Patrol cameras recorded armed men escorting a mother and an 8-year-old across the border illegally.
  • In the words of a New York Times article, “Boys and girls alike are at risk of being sexually exploited and abused by smugglers, of becoming seriously ill, or of dying from heat, cold or dehydration in the harsh, vast terrain on the southwest border. It is unknown how many cases of very young children traveling alone end in tragedy.”

Loopholes = $$$ For Smugglers

  • Smugglers are exploiting loopholes in our immigration system that allow children and families to be released after 20 days of detention rather than returned immediately. Smugglers offer “two-for-one” pricing for migrants, knowing they only need to deliver migrants to the border – not across it.
  • Migrants are also using children by pretending to be families in order to gain entry to the United States. Since April 2018, CBP found 3,100 cases of “fraudulent family units.”
  • Smugglers choose where to “deliver” migrants at the border, often using large groups to divert Border Patrol agents to sneak drugs across.

Democrats continue to try to pin the blame on our border crisis on the president. But the truth is that the laws criminal organizations are exploiting date back well before the Trump Administration. The administration is doing everything it can without the help of Congress to secure our border. Congress must invest more in manpower, infrastructure and 21ST century technology, and fix the immigration loopholes that smugglers are exploiting.

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Contact: Nicole Hager

202-226-8417

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Author: Nicole Hager