U.S. law enforcement officials have been finding “cheat sheets” along the border used by illegal immigrants to try to stay in the United States and not get deported after they’ve been caught.
The notes, believed to be supplied by human trafficking groups, give pointers in Spanish on what immigrants should say when confronted by border authorities.
One federal law enforcement official dubbed them “illegal alien cheat sheets.”
A copy of one sheet obtained by TheBlaze lists a series of questions that U.S. authorities will consider in granting someone an immigration hearing.
“It’s proof they are told what to say,” a Department of Homeland Security official told TheBlaze. Often times, the sheets get “destroyed or thrown away before illegal aliens are apprehended.”
The sheet obtained by TheBlaze has handwritten notes about the appropriate “yes” or “no” answers to the questions, along with some jotted personal notes on what to say to U.S. authorities. They include, “Who did you live with?” and the answer, “My aunt, but she crossed the border.”
Another handwritten question is, “Where does your father live?” The answer underneath reads, “I don’t know him or even his name.”
Border Patrol agents in McAllen, Texas, have said most of the illegal immigrants they encounter have the same “rehearsed” answers about having “credible fear” in fleeing their countries so they will not be returned.
Among the printed statements in Spanish on the sheet are:
• Why did you abandon your country?
• Because of poverty and misery.
• You’re in fear of your government and afraid to live in your country.
• You’re afraid of extortion from Maras [MS-13 gang].
• Do you have family in the United States?
• Is this the first time you’ve come into this country?
• Did you swim across the river?
• Somebody told you that if you brought a minor child into the United States you can stay.
More than 52,000 unaccompanied minors from Central America have illegally crossed into the United States over the past eight months, mainly through the Border Patrol’s Rio Grande Valley sector in Texas. Many of the families arriving from Honduras, El Salvador and Guatamala believe they will not be returned home if they have young children with them, authorities say.
Federal law enforcement officials told TheBlaze the sheets are prepared by human traffickers whose job it is to ensure passage of the illegals into the U.S. The cost of traveling from Central America to the United States can vary from $5,000 to $8,000, according to recently arrived immigrants and law enforcement officials who spoke to TheBlaze. Many who cross the border use the “credible fear” claim, saying they are afraid to return home, and knowing that they will obtain a notice to appear in immigration court to appeal to stay in the country.
Because of the overcrowded conditions at border facilities, many families are released at their own recognizance and subsequently fail to report to their hearings.
“Several years ago, we would hold illegal aliens until their court date,” the DHS official said. “We didn’t have this huge crisis when they knew they couldn’t get away and were being held. Now we let everyone go because we have no space — the administration also makes it impossible to do our job and deport them.”
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