Unrelated illegal aliens, falsely posing as families from Central and South America, continue to fraudulently circumvent U.S. immigration laws so they will be quickly released into the United States after turning themselves in to U.S. border authorities.
In April 2019, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) and U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s (CBP) U.S. Border Patrol (USBP), who has been nominated in the 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program, began the Family Fraud Initiative in El Paso to identify individuals fraudulently presenting themselves as families when making an asylum claim in order to be released into the United States.
Since inception, this law enforcement initiative has resulted in the following:
238 fraudulent families identified;
329 false documents seized that were used to support fraudulet claims;
more than 350 individuals federally prosecuted for various crimes, including human smuggling, making false statements, conspiracy, and illegal re-entry after removal; and
50 individuals identified who have fraudulently claimed to be unaccompanied minors.
(A rise in fake families – adult migrants with kids who aren’t theirs — is being reported by officials at the U.S.-Mexico border. Courtesy of ABC 10 News and YouTube. Posted on Apr 30, 2019.)
Some of the most disturbing cases identified involve transnational criminal organizations (TCOs) and individuals who are increasingly exploiting innocent children to further their criminal activity.
Investigations indicate that TCOs and individuals have entered into schemes with biological parents to dangerously transfer their children – ranging in age from 4 months to 16 years – to unrelated adults so they can pose as family units to further their human smuggling criminal enterprises and/or fraudulently obtain U.S. immigration benefits.
HSI and U.S. Border Patrol agents in El Paso have referred 19 children to U.S. Health and Human Services (HHS), potentially rescuing these children from dangerous situations.
Jack P. Staton, special agent in charge of HSI El Paso, said these criminal schemes are becoming more common, and they endanger children and exploit our immigration laws.
“These children are being dangerously used as pawns by criminals to take advantage of loopholes in our immigration laws and avoid being detained by U.S. immigration authorities,” he said.
“HSI and Border Patrol will continue to protect children from being smuggled, as well as aggressively target, identify and stop criminal organizations from generating false documents and exploiting innocent children.”
Also, this past summer Border Patrol agents encountered a Guatemalan, who initially claimed to be an unaccompanied minor. The alleged juvenile possessed a birth certificate that reflected his claim to being 15 years old.
However, during questioning he admitted that the birth certificate he presented was fraudulent, and that in fact he was an 18-year-old adult.
In this case as in several others, the agents’ investigative actions prevented this man from being processed as a minor, referred to HHS and housed with juveniles.
“These are examples of the dark side of this humanitarian crisis that our Border Patrol and HSI agents are working tirelessly to identify,” said El Paso Sector Interim Chief Gloria I. Chavez.
“We will pursue the highest of judicial consequences for those who commit fraud and exploit innocent children.”
The issue of “family unit fraud” has been increasing since the spring of 2018.
(A Guatemalan man allegedly paid about $130 to “rent” an eight-year-old boy after he was told it would be “easier to get into the United States with a child.” Courtesy of NTDTV and YouTubee. Posted on May 7, 2019.)
To combat the unprecedented surge of families, both legitimate and fraudulent, and identify and rescue innocent children who are being exploited, HSI deployed 130 personnel to the Southwest border consisting of special agents, criminal analysts, forensic interview specialists, document examiners and victim assistance specialists.
Winners to be Announced at the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Banquet/Luncheon at ISC East – Register Today
The Annual ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program is specifically designed to honor distinguished government and vendor solutions that deliver enhanced value, benefit and intelligence to end users in a variety of government, homeland security and public safety vertical markets.
The highlight of the 2019 AST Homeland Security Awards Program will be the ‘ASTORS’ Awards Presentation Luncheon at ISC East, November 20, 2019 in the Jacob Javits Exhibition Center, from 12:00pm – 2:30pm, featuring keynote address by Bill Bratton, former police commissioner of the NYPD, BPD, and former chief of LAPD.
The 2018 ‘ASTORS’ Awards Program drew an overwhelming response from industry leaders with a record high number of corporate and government nominations received, as well as record breaking ‘ASTORS’ Presentation Luncheon Attendees, with top firms trying to register for the exclusive high – end luncheon and networking opportunity – right up to the event kickoff on Wednesday afternoon, at the ISC East registration!
Over 130 distinguished guests representing National, State and Local Governments, and Industry Leading Corporate Firms, gathered from across North America, Europe and the Middle East to be honored among their peers in their respective fields which included:
- The Department of Homeland Security
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- Argonne National Laboratory
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- U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Viasat, Hanwha Techwin, Lenel, Konica Minolta Business Solutions, Verint, Canon U.S.A., BriefCam, Pivot3, Milestone Systems, Allied Universal, Ameristar Perimeter Security and More!
ISC East is the Northeast’s largest security industry event and your ‘ASTORS’ Awards Luncheon registration includes complimentary attendee access to the show.
Thank take advantage of this exclusive luncheon opportunity to take a break from the show – Invite your team, guests, clients and show visitors to a lovely and affordable plated meal event in the heart of New York City, for a fabulous networking opportunity!
Congratulations to the U.S. Border Patrol in 2019 ‘ASTORS’ Homeland Security Awards Program!
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