The immigrant minor children coming across the border from Central America seem to be well coached in how to use a 2008 law designed to help immigrant children who are escaping sex trafficking, Texas Rep. Kevin Brady tells Newsmax TV.
On Tuesday, Brady and other local officials toured a facility in Conroe, Texas, outside Houston, that is being used as a temporary holding facility for migrant kids, Your Houston News
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Brady, a Republican, "requested a tour" of the facility because "questions weren't being answered," he told J.D. Hayworth, John Bachman, and Miranda Khan on "America's Forum" on Wednesday.
"What we saw was really not the problem, [but] the symptom of the problem," he explained.
"Here's a facility that can hold up to 120 youth, it's about half full, most of them about 14 to 17 years old," Brady said. "Most of them stay about three weeks, but they are released mainly to Northeast states like Massachusetts, Maryland, New York.
"What's interesting is almost all of them come across the U.S. border with a contact person, a name and a number for U.S. officials," he said. "Many of them bring their birth certificates with them.
"All of them claim violence back home, so my thought is they've been well coached in taking advantage of the 2008 law," he added.
The William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Act,
which was signed into law by former President George W. Bush in December 2008, allows illegal immigrant minors rights and protections such as an immigration hearing before than can be deported.
Immigrant minors from Canada and Mexico are exempt from the law.
A group of House Republicans, including Speaker John Boehner,
traveled to Central America and met with the presidents of Honduras and Guatemala last Thursday.
"What they learned was that these human smugglers are very sophisticated," Brady said. "They offer discounts if you refer another family to them, offer guarantees that if your child isn't accepted that in return they will send them back to the U.S. border again.
"The other thing we heard from our Republican team — the parents down in Central America, they want their children back, and the governments are eager and ready to bring them back," he said
Congressional lawmakers are working on a measure
to address the influx.
"That's why the House proposal is first secure the border, funding the National Guard, giving them full access to federal lands on the border," Brady said.
"Secondly, change the  law that's being abused, and we want to end house and release, which is really what's happening now — house them for a few weeks, release them into the country," he said.
"We insist that they be detained humanely at the border, their cases filed within a week, and we staff enough temporary judges to make a decision within three days," he added.
"We're determined not just to manage the problem, that's what the president wants to do, but to stop the problem and to promptly reunite these kids with their families back home."
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