Judge: US government assisting child smuggling

Article author: 
By Christopher Sherman and Alicia A. Caldwell
Article publisher: 
Denver Post
Article date: 
19 December 2013
Article category: 
National News
Article Body: 

McALLEN, Texas—A federal judge in South Texas said in a recent order that the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is assisting in criminal conspiracies to smuggle children into the country when it helps reunite them with parents who are known to be in the U.S. illegally. 

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville made the comments in a 10-page order last Friday, at the conclusion of an immigrant smuggling case. Hanen expressed his frustration in having four cases in which a child who arrived in the U.S. illegally alone was reunited with a parent who was herself in the country illegally pass through his court in the past month.

... he saved his most withering words for the U.S. government for not arresting and deporting the mother who hired the smuggler. 

The order doesn't have the power to change policy...

In recent years, the number of children apprehended by U.S. authorities without their parents has skyrocketed.

Between 2008 and 2011, the number of unaccompanied minors who landed in the custody of the Office of Refugee Resettlement, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services, fluctuated between 6,000 and 7,500 per year. That number shot up to 13,625 in 2012 and surged even more—to 24,668—this year. Those figures do not include thousands of Mexican children who are routinely returned to that country through coordination with its consulates at the border...