Undocumented Mother Separated From Child With Down Syndrome At U.S. Border Detained As Smuggling Witness

After furor erupted following former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's crude dismissal of Zac Petkanas's emotional argument, CBP responds.

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After furor erupted following former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski's crude dismissal of Zac Petkanas's emotional argument, CBP responds.

The scene was extremely intense on Fox News as former Trump campaign manager Corey Lewandowski sparred with former Democratic National Committee advisor Zac Petkanas over the subject of separating children from adult migrants at the southern border of the United States.

As Petkanas introduced an emotional wildcard into the fray in an attempt to drum up sympathy for his side of the debate, according to the Inquisitr, Lewandowski simply made a sad trumpet noise, referring to his lack of faith in the anecdote. Petkanas was speaking to a story he had heard in which, recently, a mother was separated from her presumed daughter at the border; the daughter having down syndrome. Petkanas, for his part, replied with an incensed “How dare you? How absolutely dare you?” that has been replayed ad infinitum since the statement was made during the broadcast.

This story went viral on the internet and added fuel to the fire that eventually forced President Trump to use the power of the executive order to temporarily ameliorate the situation, keeping adults and children together as they go through processing and detention until a legislative underpinning can be agreed upon by Congress.

Now, as the Daily Caller reports, Customs and Border Patrol has released a statement relaying the information that the guardian in question in this controversial case will be interviewed and prosecuted as a witness to human smuggling. The car that they were apprehended in was being driven by a U.S. citizen whom is the alleged smuggler in question.

“This smuggler has a criminal history including a flight, escape, aiding and abetting making it important that we prosecute.” CBP’s statement says.

The mother and child were not separated due to the zero-tolerance policy, according to the Dallas News, but rather because the mother was a “material witness” in an ongoing smuggling case.

Human smuggling or human trafficking across the U.S.-Mexico border is not at all uncommon and is in fact business as usual, though a very dangerous business indeed, according to CBS News. In a recent report produced this past March, speaking with expert witnesses, the constant barrage of bodies found dead in their journey to cross the border can be harrowing. Rape, exhaustion, physical molestation, and simple dehydration often kill those attempting an illegal entry, the journey being far more perilous than the destination. Over 100 18-wheelers stuffed to the brim with human cargo have been found in Texas alone last year. Those inside were often being cooked alive, and in some cases, had already perished.

Those that seek more traditional passage over the border’s raw terrain – brush and minimal fencing – do not often fare much better. Often at the mercy of “coyotes,” or paid human traffickers frequently employed by Mexican drug cartels or violent gangs such as MS-13, those migrants seeking unlawful entry beyond the southern American border are subject to all of the above, but further isolated from any support they may have had, no chance of safety in numbers.

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On Mexico’s side at least, drug cartels “definitely own the border” as a regulatory mechanism according to Jeremy Slack, University of Texas at El Paso professor, who studies illegal immigration and has spent years interviewing those who have made it across intact.

President Trump and his administration have overseen a firm zero-tolerance policy for illegal entry into the United States in order to prevent illegal immigration as well as to discourage human trafficking into one of the world’s wealthiest nations. A desirable destination for those seeking to escape their own impoverished nations, the United States has long wrestled with the concept of illegal aliens, having offered previous amnesty that did little to stem the tide surging about, and through, their often porous borders.