Coyotes are giving smuggling discounts to migrant parents who lend their young children to other migrants at the border, says a report by the Center for Immigration Studies.
“The child, real parent, unrelated adult client, and smuggler often make the trip together,” said the report by Todd Bensman, a former manager at the Texas Department of Public Safety’s Intelligence and Counterterrorism Division. ”Only at the border is the child and bogus birth certificate given over to the paying migrant, who is expected to return the child days or weeks later once everyone is inside the United States,” he said.
Bensman spoke with Monica Mapel, an ICE agent in San Antonio, Texas, after she led a study into the novel child-trading scheme.
“I have current examples where they [the unrelated adult male] had never met them [the child] until the transportation to the U.S. began,” Mapel told Bensman. The adult male told the ICE agents that “I have no idea who the child is. I never met him before until I got on the transport. The child was given to me and the birth certificate was provided. The mom was on the bus,” she added.
The child-trading is made profitable by Congress’ refusal to fix the 2015 Flores Catch-and-Release loophole. The policy bars the detention of adults for more than 20 days, so the migrants and the cartel-tied coyotes have an incentive to bring and share many children so every migrant can get a child and walk through border fences via the Flores loophole.
Once through the border, the migrants are supposed to return the children to the mother, and then get blue-collar jobs to repay the cartel’s labor-trafficking business.
Democratic legislators have been silent about the child trading and the loopholes which make the journey possible, but very vocal about young migrants who die on the last stage of the journey into the United States. Republicans did little to close the loopholes when they held the House and Senate in 2017 and 2018.
Democrats and Republicans are also silent about the harms suffered by children of blue-collar Americans who are stuck in classrooms alongside migrant children who speak little or no English.
Bensman reported how the child trade works:
Mapel said human smugglers or brokers in home countries cut package deals where a parent provides a child (especially if parents have more than one) to a child-less migrant for a fee or an in-kind reduction in the real parent’s own smuggling fee. Such packages can reach $7,000 for transportation, food, doctored birth certificates, and the child.
“If you have children to spare during your trip to the U.S., your trip is not as expensive,” she explained.
To best maintain a ruse where the child is unable to blow the cover, Mapel said, young children are preferred, especially infants and toddlers who can’t answer questions or make mistakes. Border Patrol has often reported the arrival of single men carrying infants without baby formula, bottles, diapers or any other accoutrements indicating infant caretaking.
“I think it’s because they [a young child] won’t make a mistake in a facility. To them, it’s just a trip. They clearly have no idea what’s happening,” Mapel said.
The trade is dangerous and traumatizing for the migrant children, Bensman reported:
“In the cases I’m looking at,” Mapel said. “the mother lost track of that child. That child is now in another person’s custody because they didn’t reunite or something, somewhere.”
Others may be abandoned in the field. Plenty of abandoned-child cases have come to the attention of federal agents, such a 3-year-old boy found recently near McAllen, Texas, crying alone in a corn field, the only tie to his family possibly the phone number written on one of his shoes. While it’s unclear whether those children had been used for the asylum loophole entry, Mapel described the vulnerability that complicit parents allow by turning their kids over to others, during detention and after release, as “just foul.”
“It’s a new low for humanity that you would give your child away like this to a stranger or friend,” she said. “I’d hate to see something happen to that child after the handoff occurs. They are with somebody who is not their parent. What if fake mom or fake dad needed to make medical decisions for the child? Just some random guy is going to be saying it’s ok to do this procedure at a hospital? It’s just not right; the person who is supposed to be protecting them is not there.”
Mapel said she believes true mothers and fathers who participate in faux family schemes should be subjected to child endangerment charges and perhaps something new that could bring [a] higher penalty.
“DHS has seen many examples of family unit fraud; you’ve victimized your child. A young, young child is sitting in a facility. If these children ended up with ORR, there’re no hugs. There’re no kisses. What are they, Facetiming? What are you doing to see your child? And yes, you did do that to him. That seems like child endangerment. So yes, I think children are the pawns in this scheme.”
The inflow of children is huge. The Washington Post reported May 28:
Nearly 169,000 youths have surrendered at the southern border in the first seven months of this fiscal year, and more than half are ages 12 and under, according to federal records and officials familiar with Customs and Border Protection statistics. Minors now account for nearly 37 percent of all crossings — far above previous eras, when most underage migrants were teenagers and accounted for 10 percent to 20 percent of all crossings.
The migration is also emptying towns in Central America. On April 21, the Wall Street Journal reported:
COLOTENANGO, Guatemala—Gloria Velásquez is used to saying goodbye. Four of her six siblings have migrated to the U.S. and she, too, is thinking about heading north with her 9-year-old daughter.
Ms. Velásquez said her four siblings in the U.S. are encouraging her to join them. Her daughter Helen Ixchel likes to teach language and mathematics to fellow children. She wants to learn English and become a teacher.
“I’m a bit scared [about going to the U.S.] after hearing all the news about the suffering of migrants at the border. But it’s my daughter’s greatest dream,” Ms. Velásquez said.
But the flow of migrants provides U.S. employers with an extra supply of tough, compliant, low-wage workers just as labor shortages are forcing companies to raise pay for Americans. The extra labor supply also reduces U.S. employers’ incentive to hire the population 12 million unemployed or underemployed Americans, some of whom are sidelined by disability, underinvestment in rural areas, or drugs, or even to hire U.S. factory workers to build labor-saving machinery.
Data released by the Department of Homeland Security shows that a huge volume of migrants is getting work permits for U.S. jobs.
From October 2015 to September 2016, for example, 270,000 migrants got work permits via the (c)(8) process, and another 78,000 migrants got paroled and got work permits via the “Paroled pursuant to INA 212(d)(5)” category.
In the next fiscal year of 2017, the regular number spiked to 403,000, but the parole number dropped to 59,000 as Trump’s deputies curbed the parole number. In 2018, the regular number dipped to 345,000, and the parole number lurched down to 18,000.
DHS officials have refused to tell Breitbart News how long the work permits last, so they are hiding the number of migrants getting new work permits or extended work permits.
Each year, roughly four million young Americans join the workforce after graduating from high school or university.
But the federal government then imports about 1.1 million legal immigrants and refreshes a resident population of roughly 1.5 million white-collar visa workers — including roughly one million H-1B workers — and approximately 500,000 blue-collar visa workers.
The government also prints out more than one million work permits for foreigners, tolerates about eight million illegal workers, and does not punish companies for employing the hundreds of thousands of illegal migrants who sneak across the border or overstay their legal visas each year.
This policy of inflating the labor supply boosts economic growth for investors because it ensures that employers do not have to compete for American workers by offering higher wages and better working conditions.
This policy of flooding the market with cheap, foreign, white-collar graduates and blue-collar labor also shifts enormous wealth from young employees towards older investors, even as it also widens wealth gaps, reduces high-tech investment, increases state and local tax burdens, and hurts children’s schools and college educations. It also pushes Americans away from high-tech careers and sidelines millions of marginalized Americans, including many who are now struggling with fentanyl addictions. The labor policy also moves business investment and wealth from the heartland to the coastal cities, explodes rents and housing costs, shrivels real estate values in the Midwest, and rewards investors for creating low-tech, labor-intensive workplaces.