A U.S. senator was shocked to discover this week that the Department of Homeland Security is actually bringing children of undocumented immigrants to the United States to reunite them with their illegal alien parents.
Republican David Vitter of Louisiana is now seeking answers from Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson.
“I am shocked to learn that the federal government is a participant in an international human smuggling conspiracy,” Vitter wrote Johnson Wednesday, according to The Daily Caller. “I cannot imagine a case in which such a policy would be in accordance with the established mission of the Department, particularly since this encourages additional smuggling and sometimes extreme abuse of the smuggled children involved.”
The scheme came to light last month, when an undocumented immigrant living in Virginia paid $8,500 to a human trafficker to smuggle her child from El Salvador. When the smuggler appeared at the border with the child, Homeland Security agents delivered him the rest of the way. A federal judge criticized the agency for what amounted to abetting a criminal scheme.
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“Despite this setback [the child’s detention at the border], the goal of the conspiracy was completed thanks to the actions of the United States Government,” U.S. District Court Judge Andrew Hanen wrote. “This Court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security (hereinafter ‘DHS’) of completing the criminal mission of individuals who are violating the border security of the United States.”
Rather than an isolated incident, the incident marked “the fourth case with the same factual situation this court has had in as many weeks,” Hanen noted in his opinion.
An Immigration and Customs Enforcement agent told The Caller that such deliveries occur daily, to the point where “our officers are babysitters.”
The Caller reported:
Vitter pressed the department to lay out more details about this practice — specifically how long it has been going on, what agency carries it out, how often it occurs, what statutes allows it and who initially authorized it.
Vitter also wants information about how DHS’s completion of smugglers missions does not violate a United Nations protocol ratified by the United States requiring the country to criminalize human smuggling.
Homeland Security officials claim they’re merely following protocol by uniting minor children with their undocumented parents.
“The Department of Homeland Security adheres to the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act and other applicable laws when encountering unaccompanied minors and, as with all individuals encountered by DHS, we are committed to their safe, fair and humane treatment,” an agency spokeswoman told The Caller in an email.
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