Tags: children | illegal | immigrants | smuggled | policy

US Turning Over Smuggled Children to Illegal Immigrant Parents

By Drew MacKenzie   |   Friday, 20 Dec 2013 02:28 PM

Children who are being smuggled across the U.S.-Mexico border are being handed over by immigration officials to their illegal immigrant parents, the head of the union representing thousands of federal immigration officers has confirmed.

"This is exactly what's happening," Chris Crane, of the National Immigration and Customs Enforcement Council, told Fox News Friday.

His confirmation supports a federal judge's claim that details what he alleges is a "dangerous" policy on the part of Homeland Security.

Texas U.S. District Judge Andrew S. Hanen says the program in essence is aiding human traffickers, especially drug cartels that reportedly run some of the smuggling operations.

The Department of Homeland Security has insisted that it's going by the book while maintaining that its officials are making certain that the illegal minors are given "safe, fair and humane treatment."

According to Fox News, a law enforcement official said that "unaccompanied alien children" who have been detained by immigration officials are passed on to the Department of Health and Human Services.

The official cited The Homeland Security Act of 2002, as well as the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, in explaining that in many cases these minors by law must be handed over to the care of HHS.

But Judge Hanen has argued that the children, are, in fact, not "unaccompanied" because they're all accompanied by the person smuggling them over the border. "There is nothing in this act that directs and authorizes the DHS to turn a blind eye to criminal conduct," he wrote in a recent ruling.

Although the HHS is acting in a humane manner by connecting the illegal kids with their parents in America, Crane says the government is putting in danger other children who believe that they will meet up with their parents in the U.S. even if they are caught crossing illegally.

"The very people patting themselves on the back as humanitarians are putting these children at more risk than they've ever been before," he said.

Meanwhile, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency announced Thursday that in 2013 it captured 368,644 people attempting to enter the U.S. illegally. Nearly 60 percent had a criminal record, Fox News reported.

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