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Border authorities in Texas last week apprehended at least eight illegal immigrants who they say were posing as unaccompanied minors to avoid being deported.
U.S. Border Patrol agents encountered three separate groups of illegal immigrants at the El Paso Station and the Ysleta Station on August 16 and August 17.
Agents from the El Paso Station encountered the first group, comprising 13 illegal immigrants. Among them, were three individuals from Guatemala: a 21-year-old female, a 22-year-old female, and a 22-year-old male. The remaining members were nine unaccompanied children and one adult, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) said in a press release.
The next day, agents assigned to the El Paso Sector Central Processing Center (CPC) encountered three Guatemalan males: a 26-year-old, a 25-year-old, and an 18-year-old. The trio was part of a group of nine immigrants who crossed the border illegally. Agents questioned the three individuals after detecting discrepancies between their documents and the stories they told.
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That same day, Ysleta Station agents encountered a group of eight unaccompanied Guatemalan minors who crossed the border illegally. Agents at the CPC questioned two people from the group – a 22-year-old male and a 19-year-old female – and discovered them as imposters after detecting discrepancies.
CBP was not available Sunday to provide additional details. The agency says on its website that individuals who attempt to pose as unaccompanied children potentially face fines and imprisonment for allegedly making false statements to federal agents and conspiracy to defraud the U.S.
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“Transnational Criminal Organizations exploit migrants convincing them to pose as minors in order to be processed as such,” El Paso Sector Border Patrol Chief Gloria I. Chavez said in a statement. “Identity fraud is a common tactic used by TCOs to take advantage of migrants who do not know the legal consequences of their actions as they attempt to deceive authorities.”
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