Nearly half of illegal immigrant minors under the age of 5 recently detained at the U.S./Mexico border cannot be returned because their putative parents have criminal records that include abduction, murder, and child abuse. DNA evidence has shown that some of the so-called parents have no real relationship to children they claim as their own. This week, President Donald Trump tweeted that Democrats in Congress should help stop illegal immigrants who are bringing children. “Traffickers know how it works,” he claimed. “'They are just using children!”
Government documents show that the Department of Homeland Security has found “many instances where human traffickers have used children to cross the border to gain illegal entry.” According to DHS and the Department of Justice, 46 of the 103 children currently in custody who are under 5 years old would not be safe with the adults who brought them to the country. Some of the adults are languishing in prison for murder, child abuse, and kidnapping. Other adults provided false proof of birth or had sought to place a child with a known child sex abuser.
A dozen adult aliens were deported but declined to take their children with them .
According to both DOJ and DHS, of the 103 minors in the youngest age group, 57 have been reunited with parents, but the other 46 are '”ineligible.” The government announced that 11 adults “serious criminal histor[ies],” which include charges or convictions for cruelty to children, abduction, human trafficking, domestic violence, narco-trafficking and murder. Seven were shown “not to be a parent,” including three were ferreted out through DNA testing.
In the past, DHS has declared that there have been “many instances where human traffickers have used children to cross the border to gain illegal entry to our country.” Chris Meekins of DHS said that one of the adults claimed to be a parent “DNA swab,” and then retracted his claim. In one instances, federal authorities found out that a potential child sponsor had been accused of abusing the child he was seeking to claim. Another told authorities that he planned to house his child with an adult charged with sexually abusing a young girl. Eleven of the adults are in the custody of state or federal authorities for other reasons. Twelve have been deported.
On Thursday, Housing and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen, and Attorney General Jeff Sessions released a joint statement on Thursday:
“Dedicated teams at the Departments of Health and Human Services, Homeland Security, and Justice have worked tirelessly to ensure the safety of Ms. L class members. As of this morning, the initial reunifications were completed. Throughout the reunification process our goal has been the well-being of the children and returning them to a safe environment. Our agencies’ careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty, and adults determined not to be the parent of the child. Of course, there remains a tremendous amount of hard work and similar obstacles facing our teams in reuniting the remaining families. The Trump administration does not approach this mission lightly, and we intend to continue our good faith efforts to reunify families.
“Certain facts remain: The American people gave this administration a mandate to end the lawlessness at the border, and President Trump is keeping his promise to do exactly that. Our message has been clear all along: Do not risk your own life or the life of your child by attempting to enter the United States illegally. Apply lawfully and wait your turn.
“The American immigration system is the most generous in the world, but we are a nation of laws and we intend to continue enforcing those laws. Establishing the immigration system demanded of our political leaders by the American people for more than 30 years – one that serves the national interest – will allow our nation to further realize the foundation of freedom, safety, and prosperity we inherited from our Founders.'
“Our agencies’ careful vetting procedures helped prevent the reunification of children with an alleged murderer, an adult convicted of child cruelty, and adults determined not to be the parent of the child.” The trio of cabinet secretaries added that they “intend to continue our good faith efforts to reunify families.”
On Thursday, Judicial Watch released over 200 documents that include almost 1,000 summaries of Significant Incident Reports (SIRs) from the Department of Health and Human Services. These reveal that “Unaccompanied Alien Children” (UAC) processed by the Obama administration included admitted murderers, rapists, smugglers, prostitutes, and human traffickers.
The documents came from the HHS Administration for Children and Families and were reported to the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) relate to the period May to November 2014. Judicial Watch had submitted a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request that year for the materials.
The government documents show that in in fiscal year 2014, there were 24,680 Significant Incident Reports filed with the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Judicial Watch began investigating the issue during the 2014 wave of “Unaccompanied Alien Children” that surged at the southwestern border of the U.S. At the time, a controversial HHS contract with Baptist Children and Family Services (BFCS) to provide shelter to children at two military facilities was revealed. Judicial Watch learned that BCFS was providing consumer electronics as “essential” items to the children. Judicial Watch has also been investigating incidents of violence, drug trafficking, human trafficking, and other criminal activities, as well as whether innocent children were being abused while in U.S. shelters.
Examples of incidents include:
- UACs admitting to murder, belonging to the MS-13 criminal organization, threatening others with rape, admitting to drug smuggling, molesting other UACs and seriously assaulting other UACs or staff;
- UACs who were raped and/or molested en route to the United States or in the United States;
- U.S. Government contractors and employees allegedly assaulting or having sexual relationships with UACs; and
Examples of UACs admitting to murder, belonging to MS-13, threatening others with rape, admitting to drug smuggling, molesting other UACs and seriously assaulting other UACs or staff include:
- A male UAC at a BCFS shelter in Fairfield, CA admitted that he was “forced to kill” while working for the Gulf Cartel in Mexico
- A male UAC being cared for at the Heartland International RC Facility reported that he had been an MS-13 gang member for a year before coming to the U.S.
- A male UAC cared for at the Heartland ICRC (International Committee of the Red Cross) facility reported to staff that he had been “made to” kill three people by a drug cartel.
- A male UAC housed at the KidsPeace shelter (apparently a reference to the KidsPeace facility in Bethlehem, PA) reportedly told another male UAC there: “I am a rapist. I am going to rape you.”
- A male UAC at a Baptist Child and Family Services (BCFS) shelter in Baytown, TX said he’d worked as a human smuggler, charging $6,000-$8,000 per person he crossed into the United States
- A female UAC at the BCFS shelter in Lackland AFB was alleged by other UACs to be the daughter of a coyote (human smuggler) and reportedly was passing information to her father via telephone from the shelter
Examples of UACs who were raped and/or molested en route to the United States or in the United States include:
- A female UAC from the Shiloh RTC reported that the person who claimed to US authorities to be her grandmother in order to get the UAC into the US was not, in fact, her grandmother but had brought her into the U.S. from Honduras to make her work “as a prostitute”
- A male UAC at IES Driscoll claimed he was raped by another male UAC while in the custody of U.S. Border Patrol but claimed he didn’t report it because he was “told by border patrol not to ask so many questions or talk”
Examples of U.S. Government contractors and employees allegedly abusing, assaulting or having sexual relationships with Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) include the following:
- A female UAC reported an allegation of abuse by program staff at Sandy Pines [Residential Treatment Center, Jupiter, FL], claiming she had been in a “girlfriend relationship” with a female staff member
- A female UAC in the Bokenkamp facility reported that an immigration officer put “his hand in between the pants and stomach of another female minor.” She also claimed a few days later that the officer “touched her thigh in an inappropriate manner.”
- A 17-year-old male UAC in the Baptist Family and Children Services, San Antonio, TX, reported he was “in a relationship,” begun while he was a minor, with a 24-year-old staff member at IES Driscoll.
- A male UAC at IES Driscoll reported a “childcare worker who had been passing letters to him as well as having conversations” which made him believe the childcare worker “wanted to have sex with him.” The childcare worker reportedly made statements like “Let’s go to the bathroom; Let’s go to the house alone; He wants to suck it; I love you very much…. Really I do.” He also reported he was promised a $200 bracelet.
Spero News writer Martin Barillas is a former US diplomat, who also worked as a democracy advocate and election observer in Latin America. His first novel 'Shaken Earth', is available at Amazon.