News & Politics

Illegal Alien Children Not Always 'Ripped from the Bosom of their Families'

Central American migrants wait for food in El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. (AP Photo/Cedar Attanasio)

The U.S. policy of separating illegal alien children who enter with their families is, at least partly, an anti-human trafficking policy.

That much is made clear in this excellent piece by Charlotte Cuthbertson in the Epoch Times.

“By requiring the release of family units before the conclusion of immigration proceedings, seemingly well-intentioned court rulings and legislation are being exploited by transnational criminal organizations and human smugglers,” Matthew Albence, acting director for Immigration and Customs Enforcement, said in a congressional hearing on July 25.

“These despicable smugglers have created an entire illicit industry with untold millions of dollars being made through the sale, rental, and recycling of children—utilized by unscrupulous adults to pose as family units.”

I’ve never been comfortable with family separation policy used as a deterrent to illegal immigration. There are far better ways to deter immigration than making children suffer for the sins of their parents.

But this is one of the most under-reported immigration stories — and for good reason. It doesn’t fit the media narrative of innocent illegal families, only wanting a better life in the U.S., crossing the border and seeing their children torn from their loving embrace by heartless Trump.

It makes for good reading, but is that all?

HSI, a division of ICE, has sent 4,000 agents to help Border Patrol investigate fake families entering along the southern border.

Since mid-April when the HSI agents were deployed, more than 5,800 fake families have been discovered, according to Kevin McAleenan, acting secretary of the Department of Homeland Security. Almost 15 percent of all family units that Border Patrol agents refer to HSI have been found to be fraudulent.

Those are the ones who’ve been exposed. There are almost certainly thousands more “fake families” that have made it into the U.S. and the children sold into slavery.

After an investigation, it was discovered that the man had borrowed the boy from the boy’s mother in Honduras to use in an attempt to be released into the United States quickly as a family unit. He presented a fake birth certificate for the boy.

Border Patrol and Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents are uncovering thousands of such stories as smugglers and illegal aliens learn that a child is an adult’s ticket into the United States, due to legal loopholes.

In this case, the child didn’t have any family in the United States, and the man told agents he had planned to drop the boy off with an unknown male in Nebraska. “He also stated that smuggling fees are considerably less expensive when adults are traveling with a child,” according to case notes obtained by The Epoch Times. The man confessed when he was faced with a DNA test. He was charged with alien smuggling.

Not all of these cases are the result of human trafficking. Our idiotic immigration laws now encourage the practice of illegal aliens “purchasing” a child to bring north because U.S. immigration policy is far more lenient for families. That doesn’t make the children being used in this fashion any less exploited.

It would be better if families weren’t separated at the border. But how much of this abominable practice can we tolerate? Certainly, the government needs to take better care of these kids — especially since they may be the innocent victims of smugglers and human traffickers. But to ignore the human trafficking angle in family separations in the name of political gamesmanship is just as callous and cynical as the government’s use of the kids as a “deterrent” to illegal immigration.