Acting DHS secretary testifies about ‘family unit’ fraud at southern border

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There have been reports and rumors circulating of some migrants using “rented” children to form fake “family” units to game the system at the southern border and increase the odds that they will be allowed to illegally enter the United States and be released into the country following a brief detainment.

The use of that particular gambit was confirmed by the acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) in testimony to Congress on Tuesday. The secretary was revealed that at least 4,800 “family units” apprehended at the border were subsequently discovered to be fraudulent.

Fake families

According to the Washington Examiner, acting DHS Secretary Kevin McAleenan’s Tuesday testimony included a breakdown of all apprehensions made on the southern border between October 2018 and May 2019.

“We have identified now more than 4,800 family units that were fraudulent as they presented at the border,” McAleenan explained.

The total number of “family units” is actually the total number of individuals — whether a child under 18 or a parent or legal guardian — who claim to be related to one another when detained after crossing the border illegally.

McAleenan gave credence in his testimony to the rumors that some illegal aliens are paying extra to smugglers and cartels and coyotes to “rent” a small child to accompany them across the border as a “family,” in order to exploit the family unit loophole that has resulted in said family units being released into the country after being detained for a maximum of 20 days.

Reason for concern

Along with McAleenan’s testimony, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) also released a summary of border apprehensions between October and May that revealed 332,981 family units had been apprehended thus far in Fiscal Year 2019.

Those 4,800 fake family unit members represent roughly 1.5% of the total number of family units apprehended.

While that number may sound relatively small in the big scheme of things, it is possible that it could grow significantly as a percentage and total over the remaining months of the fiscal year based on information provided by the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).

ICE recently revealed that, among those 4,800 family units, more than 400 fraudulent family members were caught in the six-week period from mid-April to the end of May.

Child exploitation

These individuals are not only violating U.S. law right off the bat in order to enter the country illegally, but they are also exploiting unrelated children and utilizing child-smuggling rings to take advantage of this nation’s convoluted and nonsensical loophole-filled immigration laws.

It is well beyond time for something to be done to address the crisis at the border and stop the incessant flow of illegal migrants, if not to protect and secure this nation, then at least to protect and care for the innocent children being exploited by cartels and smugglers.

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