U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is reallocating resources to the Southwest border to investigate human smuggling operations and the use of fraudulent documents among asylum seekers. The effort will shore up investigative and deportation capabilities temporarily while the Administration seeks additional funds from Congress to address the growing migrant crisis.
ICE reports there is a surge of aliens fraudulently entering as family units or unaccompanied minors. This allows them to exploit asylum loopholes and remain in the U.S. In April, ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents conducted about 100 family unit interviews and found evidence of fraud in more than a quarter of cases. The fraud includes the use of forged birth certificates or other fraudulent documents to establish parentage. Adult illegal aliens are also using fraudulent documents to claim they are minors under the age of 18.
“ICE Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) is redirecting resources to the border in response to cases of fake families using forged documents to illegally enter our country and avoid detention,” said ICE Acting Director Matthew Albence. “Our highly-skilled teams are working to stop individuals, networks and organizations facilitating child smuggling and document fraud.”
Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan told a congressional panel today the Administration will seek additional funds to address the border crisis. “While our 2020 budget will help address this crisis, we will need additional funding even sooner…Given the scale of what we’re facing, we will exhaust our resources before the end of this fiscal year. Which is why this week the Administration will be sending a supplemental funding request to the Congress.”
McAleenan did not specify the amount of the supplemental request but said it will “address critical humanitarian requirements,” including more money for migrant food, shelter and medical care. Funds also would be used to add personnel, build temporary processing centers, and upgrade “overtaxed” electronic systems.
Updated: Tue, May 14th 2019 @ 5:30pm EDT