Are illegals kidnapping kids at the border to pass themselves off as a 'family'?
Under the Obama administration, illegal alien families caught at the border are quickly released after being given a summons to appear in immigration court.
That policy was actually imposed by a federal judge during the 1990s as part of what is known as the Flores Agreement. Now the administration is looking to reimpose a policy of detaining families apprehended at the border, and illegal alien families are suing to prevent it.
One administration official made the startling claim that some illegals are kidnapping children at the border and using them to appear as a family unit so that they are processed and released quickly.
But is that true?
Leon Fresco, a deputy assistant attorney general who handles immigration cases, made the stunning claim as he defended the administration’s policy of detaining illegal immigrant parents and children caught traveling together as they jump the border. After a federal judge last year ordered the families quickly released, Mr. Fresco said it’s served as an enticement for kidnapping.
“When people now know that when I come as a family unit, I won’t be apprehended and detained — we now have people being abducted so that they can be deemed as family units, so that they can avoid detention,” Mr. Fresco told the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
He did not back up that claim in court, and did not respond to a follow-up email seeking comment. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, the agency that handles detention and deportation, declined to comment, citing the ongoing case, while Customs and Border Protection, which guards the border, did not respond to a request for comment.
But Peter Schey, the lawyer who argued in court on behalf of the families, and is in touch with hundreds of families as part of the lawsuit, said there’s no evidence to back up Mr. Fresco’s claim.
“We know zero instances of that, and there’s zero support for that anywhere in the record,” he said. “If they know of any such instances, I would think they would bring the actual instances to the attention of the court.”
Nothing should surprise us when it comes to the ingenuity of illegals finding inventive ways to game the U.S. immigration system. But this sounds a little far-fetched. If the kids were kidnapped against their will, it seems implausible that they wouldn't try to tell someone once they were being processed.
But it's entirely possible that an unrelated, unaccompanied minor might agree to latch on to an illegal man and wife in order to appear as a family.
True or not, the surge of immigrants in the last few months shows that the Obama administration's overall policy encourages Central Americans to make the long trek through Mexico in order to reach the U.S. border. We are on pace to have a record number of illegal families crossing the border, and summarily releasing them guarantees more to come.