Saturday, August 19, 2017

ICE Has Arrested More Than 400 In Operation Targeting Parents Who Pay Smugglers!

NPR ^ | Aug 18, 2017 | John Burnett 

Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested more than 400 people in an operation targeting undocumented parents and guardians who allegedly paid smugglers to bring their children to the U.S., putting them in grave danger. An ICE spokesman tells NPR the domestic phase of its Human Smuggling Disruption Initiative concluded on Friday. He said the "surge initiative" will now shift its focus to the transnational smuggling organizations that bring the children to the U.S.-Mexico border.
The operation, which uses immigrant children to target their sponsors in the U.S., has been controversial. Immigrant advocates complain it is hampering efforts to reunite families.
Critics also say it was just another ICE roundup, and didn't have the intended effect of breaking up smuggling rings. The vast majority of those arrested have been hit with civil and criminal immigration violations. Only a handful were charged with federal smuggling crimes.
"Instead they're really targeting this low-hanging fruit and using children as a tool for immigration enforcement," said Jennifer Podkul, policy director at Kids In Need of Defense.
Since the surge began in June, ICE has arrested more than 400 people. The agency says that included parents and guardians of immigrant children as well as "collateral arrests" or undocumented immigrants encountered during the operation. ICE officials say adults living in the U.S. who pay human smugglers to bring children here are aiding and abetting criminal smuggling networks...
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