By Staff

EDINBURG, Texas (CBSDFW.COM) – Rio Grande Valley Sector Border Patrol agents busted a registered sex offender from California who was trying to sponsor a 16-year-old migrant teenager who walked from the Rio Grande illegally into the United States.

“RGV Sector agents are tirelessly working to ensure unaccompanied children are not harmed and sent with individuals in our communities who seek to prey on children,” said Chief Brian Hastings, RGV Sector Border Patrol Chief Patrol Agent.

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The U.S. Office Of Refugee Resettlement has policies and procedures in place to ensure the care and safety of unaccompanied minors who are apprehended in America without immigration status or a parent or legal guardian. These policies require their timely release only to qualified parents, guardians, relatives or other adults, referred to as “sponsors.” The refugee office has created an expedited release process for children who have parents willing to care for them in the U.S. It has also paid for the travel costs of minors and their sponsors to facilitate their reunification, and allowed case managers to fill out application forms for potential sponsors.

Red flags were raised when it came to the Guatemalan teen’s potential sponsor. But McAllen Station Border Patrol agents grew concerned after her. She gave them the name of a man who she claimed was a family friend. By memory, she provided demographic information of her alleged sponsor, which is rare and raised concern from agents and a CBP officer working virtually in Canada to help to process her. Agents at the Donna Processing Facility then contacted the man. He told them that he was a friend of a close family friend. But due to inconsistencies in his stories, agents grew even more suspicious. Upon further investigation, they discovered he is a registered sex offender out of Oroville, California.

The teenager — one of thousands of unaccompanied migrant children arriving at the southern border seeking protection from violence and poverty — is now safe.

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“Although we are faced with the rising numbers of apprehensions, our Border Patrol agents utilize their investigative techniques and work collaboratively with other law enforcement authorities to safeguard migrant children,” said Hastings.

During President Biden’s first full three months in office, more than 45,000 unaccompanied migrant children entered U.S. custody along the southern border, according to government figures. The Biden administration has been sheltering these children, refusing to revive the Trump-era policy of expelling them under a pandemic-related emergency order known as Title 42.



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