The Department of Homeland Security released data Tuesday about the propensity of illegal immigrants to pose as parents in order to gain easier access into the United States.
According to data from DHS, there has been a 110 percent increase in male adults showing up at the border with children. Further, DHS separated 507 illegal immigrants between April 19 and September 30 because they fraudulently claimed they were part of a family unit.
170 family units were separated because DHS found no familial relation — 139 of the people in those fake families were children. Eighty-seven family units were separated because a person posing as a child turned out to be 18 years or older.
DHS tied the increase in fraudulent families to the Flores v. Reno Settlement, which limits the time that illegal immigrant children can be detained by U.S. officials. Because of the limit, children are often released with their parents into the United States pending future immigration proceedings.
“This well-known loophole acts a magnet for family units and entices smugglers to use children as a way to gain access to the United States by posing a family unit,” DHS said.
According to a report from the Associated Press in 2014, the Obama administration tried to speed up the release of illegal immigrant children from U.S. custody and ended up placing children with “caregivers” with whom the children had no relation.
Almost 30 of these children ended up with caregivers who exposed the children to labor trafficking, sexual abuse, abuse and neglect.
As The Daily Caller reported in June, “HHS lowered standards [in 2014] by ceasing required fingerprinting of much of the adults claiming children as theirs. In April 2014, HHS ceased asking for original copies of birth certificates from most sponsors to prove who they were.”
Fraudulent family units are not the only instance of illegal immigrants using children to their advantage. On Monday, border agents claimed that members of the migrant caravan pushed women and children to the front of their group while launching rocks at agents, effectively using the vulnerable migrants as human shields.