EL PASO, Texas (KTSM) – Homeland Security Investigations is taking on a new initiative to seek out migrants committing fraud as they attempt to enter the country.
Homeland Security Investigations started this initiative on April 16, saying since then special agents have done about 100 family unit interviews and found fraud evidence in more than a quarter of cases.
Special agents say some migrants are coming in and posing as family units hoping to be released into the country.
Forms of fraud include forged birth certificates or other fraudulent documents to establish parentage.
Homeland Security Investigations say many are saying they are minors when really they are adults. Officials say here in El Paso they’ve found fraud evidence in 30 percent of cases.
“What we’ve seen is indications of fraud to manipulate the current system because people think that if they come here as a family they’ll be released so it’s imperative that we protect the integrity of the immigration system and ensure that people who really need to utilize this system are able to get in and utilize it,” said Special Agent Jack Staton.
Investigators say criminal networks are exploiting the system and making a profit in these efforts and those found of fraud face federal charges.
Homeland Security Investigations say El Paso was the first city to start this investigation initiative and now have special teams in other cities such as Eagle Pass, Harlingen and Yuma.