U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville had a case in which a woman pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle a 10-year-old El Salvadoran girl into the U.S. using the birth certificate of one of her own daughters.
But in an unusual order dated Dec. 13, Judge Hanen accused the Department of Homeland Security of actually finishing the criminal conspiracy by transporting the child to her mother, an illegal immigrant living in Virginia since about 2000. The mother, Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, admitted hiring human traffickers to smuggle her daughter into the country for a payment of $8,500.
Judge Hanen wrote: “This Court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security (hereinafter ‘DHS’) of completing the criminal mission of individuals who are violating the border security of the United States. Customs and Border Protection agents stopped the Defendant at the border inspection point. She was arrested, and the child was taken into custody. The DHS officials were notified that Salmeron Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivered the child to her — thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her.”
The Texas judge noted this was the fourth such case he had handled in as many weeks. He also pointed out that in each case the government incurred considerable expenses — room, board, airline tickets and the salary and travel expenses of a guardian — to reunite the children with their illegal immigrant parents. He did not say to which states the other children were taken.
If DHS has smuggled children into Virginia, it doubtlessly has or will do so in Nevada.
Nevada has the highest percentage of illegal immigrants— 7.2 percent — of any state, according to a Pew Research Center study. Nevada also has the highest percentage of illegals in its workforce — 10 percent, compared to 9.7 percent in California and 9 percent in Texas.
The judge also noted the danger such smuggling poses when tacitly endorsed by a federal agency. In the days before writing his order, the judge said two “illegal aliens” drowned, two are missing and a 3-year-old was found abandoned by smugglers, all near Brownsville.
He also pointed out that such action aids the violent Mexican drug cartels that engage in human trafficking as well as drug smuggling. In the past year, the judge noted some of the minors being smuggled were assaulted, raped, kidnapped and/or killed.
Hanen indicted the DHS by writing: “By fostering an atmosphere whereby illegal aliens are encouraged to pay human smugglers for further services, the Government is not only allowing them to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so. The big economic losers in this scenario are the citizens of the United States who, by virtue of this DHS policy, are helping fund these evil ventures with their tax dollars. The overall losers, who endure the consequences of this policy, are the citizens on both sides of the border who suffer from the nefarious activities of the cartels.”
The charge that the policy is encouraging this risky behavior is obviously true. The apprehension of unaccompanied alien children in Texas alone is up 81 percent in two years.
Federal agencies should enforce the laws, not break them. Bureaucrat, tends to generate more money for government to spend. – TM