In a court order, Federal District Judge Andrew Hanen accused the Department of Homeland Security of helping to smuggle an illegal-alien girl into the U.S. to live with her mother. Judge Hanen said this was the fourth recent case in which the Border Patrol apprehended a “coyote” smuggling a child, then delivered the child to illegal-alien parents. In each case, taxpayers covered the expense.
In the case, Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, an illegal alien, paid a coyote to smuggle her 10-year old daughter from El Salvador to Virginia, where she resided. When Border Patrol Agents apprehended the smuggler and the girl, they prosecuted the smuggler but brought the child to the mother, who they knew was an illegal alien.
Judge Hanen wrote, "Salmeron Santos admitted that she started this conspiracy by hiring alien smugglers to transfer her child from El Salvador to Virginia. She agreed to pay $8500 for these human traffickers to smugger her daughter. The criminal conspiracy instigated by Salmeron Santos was temporarily interrupted when Nava-Martinez was arrested. Despite this setback, the goal of the conspiracy was successfully completed thanks to the United States Government. This Court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security completing the criminal mission of individuals who are violating the border security of the United States.”
Judge Hanen continued, "The DHS could reunite the parent and child by apprehending the parent who has committed not one, but at least two different crimes. It would be more efficient for the Government to arrest the individuals who are not only in the country illegally, but while in the country illegally are also fostering illegal conspiracies. It would also be much cheaper to apprehend those co-conspirators and reunite them at the child's location. Yet it neither prosecutes nor deports the wrongdoer."
“The DHS, instead of enforcing our border security laws, actually assisted the criminal conspiracy in achieving its illegal goals,” Judge Hanen wrote. “It completed the mission of the conspiracy initiated by Salmeron Santos. 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 DHS is rewarding criminal conduct…More troubling, the DHS is encouraging parents to seriously jeopardize the safety of their children.”
“In the last year, this Court has seen instances where aliens being smuggled were assaulted, raped, kidnapped and or killed. Time and again this Court has been told by representatives of the Government and the defense that cartels control the entire smuggling process. These entities are not known for their concern for human life....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 order states.
The Washington Times reports that border crossings by “unaccompanied alien children” are a growing problem. Between 2010 and 2012, apprehensions of these children increased 81 percent. That suggests that more illegal-alien parents are risking the lives of their children to bring them into the U.S., perhaps to qualify for the Administration’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program or in anticipation of a congressional amnesty.
Since Homeland Security officials told Judge Hanen that the drug cartels control smuggling operations, he said the department’s actions are helping the criminal entitles they are trying to disrupt. “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 judge wrote.
Judge Hanen’s order also addressed the plight of Border Patrol Agents under the Administration's prosecutorial discretion policy. “These men and women, with no small risk to their own safety, do their best to enforce our laws and protect the citizens of the United States,” Judge Hanen wrote.” It seems shameful that some policymaker in their agency institutes a course of inaction that negated their efforts. It has to be frustrating to those that are actually doing the work of protecting Americans when those efforts are thwarted by a policy that supports lawbreakers…To put this in another context, the DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation/exportation. Legally, this situation is no different.”
See more in The Washington Times or the Daily Caller, which posts Judge Hanen's order.
Updated: Thu, Dec 19th 2013 @ 3:20pm EST