[Stop-traffic] News/US: Border Patrol agents detain two men for renting children

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Subject: [Stop-traffic] News/US: Border Patrol agents detain two men for renting children
From: Melanie Orhant (morhant@igc.org)
Date: Sun Jul 30 2000 - 11:38:41 EDT

Border Patrol agents detain two men for renting children
The Monitor (McAllen, Texas), June 9, 2000

PHARR — Two Honduran men are facing criminal prosecution and deportation
after entering the United States with two Mexican children they rented,
officials said. U.S. Border Patrol agents on Wednesday detained the men and
children about a mile west of the Pharr-Reynosa International Bridge, where
they were walking after swimming across the Rio Grande.

Supervisory Agent Ramiro De Anda, of the McAllen Sector, said the men told
Border Patrol agents they had rented the children — a 1 1/2-year-old and a
6-year-old — as part of a plan to secure immigration documents that would
allow them to travel more freely in the United States.

Each man posed as the father of one of the children. They planned to be
caught with the children and then to apply for documents allowing them to
travel through border checkpoints. The documents allow families to travel
legally while they await a scheduled deportation hearing, De Anda said.

“At the present time, we do not have the facilities to hold families in
custody,” he said.

Agents became suspicious when the children could not answer basic questions
about their parents, De Anda said, and the men eventually told agents how
they had planned to use the children to obtain travel documents.

Both children were turned over to the Mexican Consulate in McAllen, De Anda
said. Mexican Vice Consul Arturo Salgado could not confirm the precise
location of the children, but said they were in the custody of either
Mexican child protective services or their parents in Reynosa.

The Honduran men remain in Border Patrol custody at the Port Isabel Service
Processing Center and are awaiting a formal deportation hearing on charges
of illegal entry. De Anda said authorities cannot seek charges that involve
renting the children because the children cannot testify due to their age.
Melanie Orhant
Stop-Traffic Moderator

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in persons, with an emphasis on public health and trafficking
in persons for forced labor, including forced prostitution,
sweatshop labor, domestic service and some coercive mail
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