Border near San Diego (AP file photo)
If you thought Fast and Furious was an insane criminal conspiracy engaged in by the Department of Homeland Security, wait till you read what a federal judge in Texas says about DHS’s co-conspiracy to engage in child smuggling.
U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen of Brownsville had a case in which a woman pleaded guilty to attempting to smuggle a 10-year-old El Salvadoran girl into the U.S. using the birth certificate of one of her own daughters.
But in an unusual order dated Dec. 13, Judge Hanen accuses DHS of actually finishing the criminal conspiracy by transporting the child to her mother, an illegal immigrant living in Virginia since about 2000. The mother, Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, admitted hiring human traffickers to smuggle her daughter into the country for a payment of $8,500.
Judge 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. Customs and Border Protection agents stopped the Defendant at the border inspection point. She was arrested, and the child was taken into custody. The DHS officials were notified that Salmeron Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivered the child to her — thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. The DHS policy is a dangerous course of action. …
“In summary, instead of enforcing the laws of the United States, the Government took direct steps to help the individuals who violated it. A private citizen would, and should, be prosecuted for this conduct.”
The judge noted this was the fourth such case he had handled in as many weeks. He also pointed out that in each case the government incurred considerable expenses — room, board, airline tickets and the salary and travel expenses of a guardian — to reunite the children with their illegal immigrant parents.
Hanen said it would be less expensive and more efficient to arrest the parents who have committed two crimes, being in the country illegally and engaging in a criminal conspiracy to smuggle children into the country illegally. “Yet, it neither prosecutes nor deports the wrongdoer,” Hanen wrote.
The judge also noted the danger such smuggling poses when tacitly endorsed by a federal agency. In the days before writing his order, the judge said two “illegal aliens” drowned, two are missing and a 3-year-old was found abandoned by smugglers, all near Brownsville.
He also noted that such action aids the violent Mexican drug cartels that engage in human trafficking as well as drug smuggling. In the past year, the judge noted some of the minors being smuggled were assaulted, raped, kidnapped and/or killed.
Hanen indicted the DHS by writing:
“By fostering an atmosphere whereby illegal aliens are encouraged to pay human smugglers for further services, the Government is not only allowing them to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so. The big economic losers in this scenario are the citizens of the United States who, by virtue of this DHS policy, are helping fund these evil ventures with their tax dollars. The overall losers, who endure the consequences of this policy, are the citizens on both sides of the border who suffer from the nefarious activities of the cartels.”
The charge that the policy is encouraging this risky behavior is apparent. The apprehension of unaccompanied alien children in Texas alone is up 81 percent in two years.
Who knows how many were killed by those Fast and Furious guns or how many have been killed by the DHS encouraging child smuggling?
The judge’s final words: “The DHS should enforce the laws of the United States — not break them.”
Nevada will doubtlessly be affected by this DHS policy, since the state population has the highest percentage of illegal immigrants — 7.2 percent — of any state, according to a Pew Research Center study. Nevada also has the highest percentage of illegals in its workforce — 10 percent, compared to 9.7 percent in California and 9 percent in Texas.
As I’ve said before, the immigrations laws are not broken, but merely the enforcement mechanism. This administration keeps breaking the laws they took an oath to uphold.
Hanen’s 10-page order: Smuggling case