Congressional Republicans who toured the southern border this week were shocked to know how smugglers recycle children across the border.
The Republican delegation touring the southern border included Reps. John Joyce of Pennsylvania, Pete Stauber of Minnesota, Dusty Johnson of South Dakota, Andy Biggs of Arizona, Sean Duffy Wisconsin’s 7th district, and Duncan Hunter from California’s 50th district.
“I think the entire delegation was shocked,” said Luke Ball, press secretary for Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.), according to Washington Examiner.
The delegation witnessed illegal immigration firsthand on the border near the Colorado River according to a video shared by Ball on Twitter on April 18. The video shows immigrants in family units, almost everyone with a child.
WATCH: Yesterday, we watched as over 35 more illegal immigrants were apprehended by only two border patrol agents. Law enforcement is overwhelmed. @realDonaldTrump is right – there is a CRISIS on our southern border. #BuildTheWall pic.twitter.com/wxgYWNITBq
— Luke Ball (@LukeTBall) April 18, 2019
In another video shared by Ball on Twitter on Wednesday, Border Patrol is seen leading over 40 illegal aliens caught trying to cross the border.
“Over 40 illegal immigrants caught at the border. Two border patrol agents are leading them to processing. There is no fence or wall in this area. #BuildTheWall,” said Ball.
— Luke Ball (@LukeTBall) April 18, 2019
A Border Patrol agent told the delegation that at the Yuma sector they have seen the third highest family apprehensions across all nine sectors this year.
The agents told the Republican congressmen that children are being rented out and the smugglers are sending the children back to Central America after they make it to the United States.
“They know that’s their ticket in,” one lawmaker told the Washington Examiner.
Ball said that the illegals know traveling in family units with children will help their cause. The agents are currently documenting and referring individuals who recycled children for prosecution.
“They just walked up and surrendered themselves. They did not try to run. They did not try to get away because what we learned last night … is that if they come in as a family unit, they will be released probably less than two days, and they’re not allowed to hold them for a certain period of time, so essentially they are presenting themselves at the border and saying they are a family unit,” Ball said.
Joyce told Washington Examiner in an email that the adults use children as “fast passes to permanent entry.”
The agents said they can’t verify if the children apprehended on the border are traveling for the first time because they don’t take fingerprints or other biometric information from children 14 years old or younger.
Rented children make the treacherous journey from Mexico to the United States with unrelated adults and are sent back to Mexico.
“They can utilize loopholes in the immigration law. These children don’t know. They take these one-month trips—traversing through horrible, horrible conditions multiple times,” said Kallinger. “Certain children are being recycled, 4-, 8-, 10-year-old children. They come with false documents from adults,” said Justin Kallinger, spokesman for the Yuma sector.
Statistics provided by the Border Patrol’s Yuma sector show that out of the 25,000 people arrested in Yuma who claimed to be part of a family unit, only 600 were related to each other. Authorities have sent 100 out of these for prosecution.
“We have prosecuted as many as we can. We run into issues with evidence, intent, time in custody once it is found to be a fraudulent family unit are just a few of the barriers we face right now,” Kallinger said in a follow-up email to Washington Examiner.
With another video shared on Twitter, Ball said: “If we keep running this, we’re just going to see more people crossing.”
— Luke Ball (@LukeTBall) April 17, 2019