A previously deported illegal alien man was recently caught crossing the Southwest U.S. border unlawfully with a 6-month-old baby – that wasn’t his.
According to immigration authorities, the case marks a "new level of child endangerment" and highlights one of the preeminent problems with an open-borders policy that rewards illegal alien families who come into the country with children.
Border agents in McAllen, Texas, said they caught 51-year-old Amilcar Guiza-Reyes, a Honduran citizen who’d already been deported once in 2013, on May 7 as he was wading across the Rio Grande carrying the infant. After being apprehended, Guiza-Reyes told the agents that the baby was his son and handed over a fake Honduran birth certificate.
He initially claimed to the U.S. Border Patrol agents that the infant was his son. However, after presenting a fraudulent Honduran birth certificate at the Central Processing Center in McAllen, Texas, he was referred to HSI special agents for interview and further investigation. He later admitted to the HSI special agents that he obtained the child’s fraudulent document to show him as the father and that he intended to use the child to further his unlawful entry in to the U.S.
The child in this case, whose name is being withheld for privacy reasons, was transferred to the custody of the Department of Health and Human Services for placement.
CBP didn't detail who the child belonged to or where Guiza-Reyes got him, but did add that the pair weren't even related.
According to U.S. Border Patrol Chief Carla Provost’s sworn testimony before the Senate Judiciary Committee just last week, immigration authorities have already identified 3,500 fraudulent migrant “families” who’ve come across the U.S. border illegally in FY2019, which began on Oct. 1.
Between mid-April and May 10, HSI special agents interviewed 562 family units who presented indicia of fraud. Of those interviewed, 95 fraudulent families were identified. More than 176 fraudulent documents or claims have also been uncovered.
To try and combat the escalating problem, ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations department has sent another 130 personnel, including special agents, forensic interview specialists, document examiners and victim assistance specialists, to the border to weed out instances of child smuggling, including through the use of new DNA testing technology.
“Our goals remain twofold: One, to protect children from being smuggled across the border by ensuring they are with their parents and not being used as pawns by individuals attempting to exploit immigration loopholes,” HSI Acting Executive Associate Director Alysa Erichs explained. “And two, to identify and stop the criminal organizations that are generating false documents and supporting child smuggling.”