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Illegal immigrants are reportedly kidnapping children and bringing them across the U.S. border in an attempt to appear like families, according to the Obama administration.
The shocking claim was made by a deputy assistant attorney general, speaking to the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals on Tuesday about the administration’s policy of keeping illegal immigrant parents and children who are caught together crossing the border, the Washington Times reported.
“When people now know that when I come as a family unit, I won’t be apprehended and detained — we now have people being abducted so that they can be deemed as family units, so that they can avoid detention,” said Leon Fresco, who explained the policy is used as an enticement for kidnapping.
Attorney Peter Schey, arguing in court on behalf of the families, said Fresco’s claims had no evidence to back them up.
“We know zero instances of that, and there’s zero support for that anywhere in the record,” he said, “If they know of any such instances, I would think they would bring the actual instances to the attention of the court.”
Fresco did not back up his claim in court and neither he, nor the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and the Customs and Border Protection agencies would comment, according to the Times.
The Times reported:
“Under a 1990s-era legal agreement known as the Flores settlement, the children are required to be quickly processed and released to social workers, and eventually placed with family or other sponsors.
But even more of the Central American illegal immigrants are now coming as family units — a parent and children traveling together — and the rules for handling them are hotly debated.
The Obama administration opened several new detention facilities to hold the families, hoping to quickly deport them.”
Last year a judge agreed with advocates for illegal immigrant rights that the facilities were not suitable for children, and ordered all of the children to be quickly processed and released. If parents were included, the judge said they were to be released as well, a ruling the Obama administration warned would increase illegal immigration.
The Flores agreement was only supposed to apply to unaccompanied minors, Fresco argued, not to those arriving as part of a family. He blamed immigrant rights activists for the recent change in interpretation.
Judge Andrew D. Hurwitz said Tuesday that pushing for release of all detained mothers seemed to be beyond the wording of the Flores settlement. He questioned if there was a middle ground to be reached in the treatment of parents.
Meanwhile, the administration’s warning is being borne out as 2016 looks to set a record for family units caught trying to jump the border, the Times reported.
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