The Flores Agreement was intended to protect migrant children from long incarcerations at the border and to ensure their well-being while in custody. But in recent months, it has been used as a loophole by migrants to allow them to be released to the interior instead of waiting in detention for their asylum hearings. This is why the administration made changes to Flores, but a federal judge blocked the rules change, prompting an acceleration of the case up through the court system.
Meanwhile, children are being used by migrants to get them out of detention quickly. This is important as the vast majority of them do not qualify under current asylum rules to remain in the country, so being released before their hearing allows them to disappear into the interior. But it isn’t just migrant families who are using the rule. Children are being “traded” and often kidnapped so false family units can enter the country and be released within the 20-day Flores time limit.
As Breitbart reported, some are even being “recycled” to be used by other migrants for entry:
Officials did not report how the foreign couple came into possession of the child. ICE officials previously told Breitbart Texas that smugglers will often rent or buy children from parents to move their human cargo more easily into the U.S. In some cases, children are kidnapped. Officials have also observed children being “recycled” through the smuggling process.
“Of all the people that smugglers exploit, children are the most vulnerable,” Del Rio Sector Chief Patrol Agent Raul L. Ortiz added. “Thanks to the cooperative efforts between HSI and Border Patrol, this child was removed from a dangerous situation and properly cared for.”
Officials have not yet identified the true parents of the migrant child. Officials arrested the couple who attempted to smuggle the child pending federal charges related to smuggling and immigration violations.
Democrats often point to humanitarian reasons for their opposition to border security. They say detention is inhumane with Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and other Democrats famously claiming migrant detention centers were like “concentration camps.” They say children are kept in cages and not cared for properly, prompting Homeland Security to release information that proves their efforts to improve conditions in facilities falls on Congress to increase their budgets.
As long as children can be used as a free pass for migrants to be released to the interior where they can disappear indefinitely, children will continue to be exploited. This needs a speedy resolution in the court that will allow CBP to do its job.
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