Agents care for toddler smuggled under false family claim

News

EL PASO, Texas (Border Report) ⁠— Throughout three different work shifts, border agents from the Del Rio Sector took care of a toddler who was smuggled into the U.S. as part of a false family claim, U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced Sunday.

On Sept. 23, agents with Homeland Security Investigations determined that the two people who brought the toddler had no relation to the child. Agents assigned to the Uvalde Station better suited to care for a child then assisted and assumed temporary custody of the child.

Agents cared for the toddler for nearly 24 hours before the child was turned over to Health and Human Services.

“Of all the people that smugglers exploit, children are the most vulnerable,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz said in a statement. “Thanks to the cooperative efforts between HSI and Border Patrol, this child was removed from a dangerous situation and properly cared for.”

At this time, authorities have not identified the child’s family. The two smugglers face charges in HSI custody.

“HSI’s message is clear – our priority is to protect the children.” Shane Folden, HSI special agent in charge in San Antonio, said in a statement. “HSI will continue to partner with the Border Patrol to identify and dismantle the criminal organizations using fraud to smuggle children.”

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