The number of adult migrants posing as children at border surging

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The number of adult migrants posing as children at border surging

Dozens of adults posing as unaccompanied minors have been found illegally crossing the southern border in recent weeks, according to disturbing new data from the El Paso Sector of the US Border Patrol.

Criminal enterprises use the twisted ruse to exploit the favorable treatment the US gives children caught at the border without parents, officials said.

Agents encountered “more than” 55 adults posing as children in the El Paso area since Oct. 1 — and 559 adults were caught in the sector purporting to be children in the previous fiscal year — the Border Patrol said Friday.

“Transnational Criminal Organizations (TCOs) frequently recruit and exploit individuals, convincing them to pose as unaccompanied children (UCs) as they are smuggled into the United States,” officials said in a statement.

The surge in adults caught posing as children at the border signals increased gang activity.

“About 30% of the MS-13 members arrested in recent years by ICE originally entered the US as unaccompanied minors,” said Jessica Vaughan of the Center for Immigration Studies. “And it is not just happening in the El Paso sector.”

Dozens of adults posing as unaccomapanied minors have been found illegally crossing the southern border in recent weeks.
Dozens of adults posing as unaccompanied minors have been found illegally crossing the southern border in recent weeks.
REUTERS

Adults are incentivized to pose as children by the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which requires the Department of Homeland Security to transfer minors to Health and Human Services within 72 hours, even if the child has not been trafficked, the CIS says. HHS then quickly places them with sponsors in the U.S., and there is very little risk of deportation – even for a criminal alien.

Yery Noel Medina Ulloa, 24, of Honduras, successfully crossed the border posing an underaged migrant earlier this year. He was arrested for killing Francisco Javier Cuella, a father of four who offered Ulloa shelter, on Oct. 7 in Jacksonville, Fla. Authorities discovered his real age and identity a week later from Honduran authorities.

The number of adults found pretending to be children comes on top of 23,000 unaccompanied minors caught in the El Paso area last year; and more than 100,000 across the entire border.

The surge in adults caught posing as children at the border signals increased gang activity.
The surge in adults caught posing as children at the border signals increased gang activity.
Getty Images

The Post last month discovered planeloads of unaccompanied minors landing at suburban New York airports via clandestine flights under the cover of darkness, an effort orchestrated by the Biden Administration to resettle them across the region.

New York City and Long Island schools over the past year have been flooded with thousands of underaged migrants who crossed the border without supervision, but found refuge in local communities.

Additional reporting by Isabel Vincent

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