Undocumented immigrants using children as pawns to enter the US

ICE Investigating the Creation of Fake Family Units by Immigrants

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On Tuesday, 30 April, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced the reallocation of resources to the US-Mexico border in order to properly investigate the alleged migrants’ exploitation of the US immigration laws by using fraudulent documents to form fake families.

According to ICE, forged birth certificates are one of the fraudulent documents used by migrants to proof the fake families. ICE highly-skilled teams are committed to putting an end to documents fraud and child smuggling facilitated by individuals or organizations, Matthew Albence – Acting Director for ICE – said.

The agency revealed it is working with other agencies including United States Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to ensure that mischievous individuals trying to enter the US do not use children as pawns.

Some adult undocumented immigrants also use fraudulent documents to showcase themselves as minors below age 18.

Loopholes in Immigration Laws

These undocumented immigrants, who enter the US under the guise of family units or unaccompanied minors, can avoid detention by exploiting loopholes in US immigration laws, ICE said.

Three teams were deployed by ICE Homeland Security Investigations in mid-April to support CBP in Texas, El Paso, and New Mexico. Another three teams were deployed a week later to provide support in some other parts of the country.

ICE said the teams deployed included officers who are highly-skilled in human smuggling and trafficking matters. They include document analysts, criminal analysts, victim assistance specialists, interpreters, and forensic interview specialists, the agency said.

In April, a quarter of the 100 family unit interviews conducted by HSI special agents confirmed fraud. Four men who claimed to be families and minors are being persecuted for false declarations and visa fraud.

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