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The el paso border patrol identifies 665 adults posing as minors while attempting to illegally cross the border


Since October, El Paso Border Patrol has identified 665 adults posing as children trying to enter the United States illegally.

U.S. Customs and Border Protection reported Friday that another 10 adults posing as children have been identified at the southern border.

Gloria I. Chavez, El Paso Sector Border Patrol Chief, explained that transnational criminal organizations convince adults to lie about their age because minors who cross the border cannot be immediately deported. In addition, she said: “Identity fraud is a common tactic used by TCOs to take advantage of migrants who are unaware of the legal ramifications of their actions when attempting to deceive authorities.”

US Department of Health and Human Services specified that unaccompanied minors be placed in the care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement. By law, ORR must provide children with food, shelter, and medical care while officials try to find a parent or guardian. While awaiting the immigration process, authorities take the children to a sponsor, usually a family member, who lives in the United States.

The consequences for pretending to be an unaccompanied minor include possible fines and imprisonment for providing false information to a federal agent and conspiring to defraud the United States.

El Paso border police recently discovered three adults from Guatemala posing as children. They arrived with a group of nine minors and one adult. The people posing as children were in their early 20s.

On August 17, border guards identified three Guatemalan men posing as children. They arrived in a group with six other migrants. The men were 18, 25 and 26 years old. Authorities found out her real age after questioning her and finding her stories were inconsistent.

In another incident on the same day, El Paso Border Protection arrested eight unaccompanied minors from another port of entry. After interviewing the group, they found that one of the people was 19 years old and another was 22 years old. The El Paso Border Patrol identifies 665 adults posing as minors while attempting to illegally cross the border

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Joanna Swanson

Joanna Swanson is Europe correspondent at the Thomson Reuters Foundation based in Brussels covering politics, culture, business, climate change, society, economies and inclusive tech. With specific focus in breaking news, she has covered some of the world's most significant stories.