DOJ says a migrant allegedly paid $130 to ‘rent’ a young boy to cross border as a family

TUCSON (KUSI) – In March, federal prosecutors told a Tucson grand jury that a Guatemalan man allegedly paid a family the equivalent of about $130 dollars to “rent” their eight-year-old son so they looked like a family when illegally crossing the Southern border into the United States.

According to Tucson.com, the federal indictment said Maynor Velasquez Molina sought out a Guatemalan child to get into the U.S. because he was told it would “be easier to get into the United States with a child.”

Last week, the Border Patrol’s Yuma Sector reported more than 700 fraudulent family claims since October.

Homeland Security Investigations sent a team of special agents to Yuma in late April to investigate the fraudulent family claims.

Tucson.com reports, “The family fraud claims amount to a small portion of migrant families that cross the border, surrender to Border Patrol agents and ask for asylum. The more than 700 fraudulent claims in the Yuma Sector came as 24,200 migrant family members were apprehended at the border near Yuma from October to March, according to Border Patrol statistics. Borderwide, federal officials said they had seen about 3,100 fraudulent family claims since April 2018, alongside about 260,000 migrant family members.”

The Tucson.com report goes on to describe some of the alleged family fraud cases. In a recent case, “a Guatemalan man used a false birth certificate on Monday in an attempt to show Border Patrol agents near San Luis he was the father in a family. He was sentenced on Tuesday to 15 days in federal prison, court records show.”

But they describe the case regarding “renting” the eight-year-old boy to be the most serious one. They report, “Velasquez paid the boy’s father in Guatemala 1,000 quetzales, or about $130, to use the boy to enter the United States, the special agent wrote. Velasquez also paid $130 to another person to make a fraudulent birth certificate for the boy.”

Tuesday, President Trump took to Twitter to urge Democrats in Congress to “vote to close the terrible loopholes at the Southern Border. If not, harsh measures will have to be taken!

Tucson.com’s full report can be read here: Tucson.com

 

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