Judge: US government assisting child smuggling

By By CHRISTOPHER SHERMAN and ALICIA A. CALDWELL

McALLEN, Texas (AP) — A federal judge in Texas says the U.S. Department of Homeland Security is assisting in criminal conspiracies to smuggle children into the country when it helps reunite them with parents who are known to be in the U.S. illegally.

U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen in Brownsville made the comments in a 10-page order issued last week at the conclusion of an immigrant smuggling case.

Hanen sentenced a smuggler to 10 months in prison. But he saved his most withering words for the U.S. government for not arresting and deporting the mother who hired the smuggler.

His order doesn't have the power to change policy. But in it, Hanen expressed his frustration at having four similar cases pass through his court in the past month.

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