Immigrants may rent-a-kid to be released in the U.S.
Fri, 04 Jul 2014 03:15:00 GMT —
Hundreds of immigrants are dropped off at the McAllen bus station by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) every day.
Mothers, fathers are given a notice to appear to immigration court that allows them to travel north.
But are these families really related?
"In the 1980s, they were doing was rent a kid in other words they knew that if you were coming with a child you would be treated differently," U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar said.
The question remains, are people renting kids to get through screenings and be released?
Chris Cabrera with the National Border Patrol Council says yes.
"We know that up north in San Antonio area and Lackland air force base that some people have come across and said that yes they were approached by adults and told they were going to be family," he said.
How much planning this takes depends on the age of the child.
"They get together and come up with a back story that they will be able to get through and once they pass through the screening and checkpoints they part ways," he explained.
Cuellar said a more thorough screening process is needed to make sure unrelated family units do not slip by.
"Think about it, if you are an adult and you said what's the best way to come in, hey bring a child This is why that screening process by Border Patrol is going to be very important," he said.
Both Cuellar and Cabrera worry about the safety of these children who are the hands of adults they don't know.
Cabrera believes these kids are not paid to be part of these fake family units because all who participate benefit by being released into the U.S.