Katie Pavlich

According to a court order obtained by Townhall, the Department of Homeland Security is enabling cartel trafficking of minors, delivering those minors to illegals living inside the United States and completing criminal transactions for illegal immigrants.


The order, filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas on December 13, details a guilty plea from Mirtha Veronica Nava-Martinez for attempting to smuggle a 10-year-old El Salvadorean female into the United States. Nava-Martinez was being paid to smuggle the child from Matamoros to Virgina, but was caught at a Brownsville checkpoint. The order describes Nava-Martinez as a resident alien living in the United States while traveling back and forth to Mexico. This charge is her second felony offense in the U.S. in the past three years. She committed food stamp fraud in 2011.


Nava-Martinez was hired by Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos, the mother of the 10-year-old who was smuggled. Salmeron-Santos is also living illegally in Virginia after being denied legal entry into the U.S. in 2001.

"Salmeron Santos admitted that she started this conspiracy by hiring alien smugglers to transfer her child from El Salvador to Virginia. She agreed to pay $8500 (and actually paid $6,000 in advance) for these human traffickers to smuggle her daughter). The criminal conspiracy instigated by Salmeron Santos was temporarily interrupted when Nava-Martinez was arrested," the order, written by U.S. District Judge Andrew Hanen, states. "Despite this setback, the goal of the conspiracy was successfully completed thanks to the United States Government. This Court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department of Homeland Security completing the criminal mission of individuals who are violating the border security of the United States.”

Essentially, illegal immigrants living in the United States are paying human traffickers connected to Mexican cartels to smuggle their children into the U.S. Although Nava-Martinez [the smuggler] was arrested and charged, the minor was delivered to her mother living illegally in Virginia by DHS, automatically making the minor eligible for the President Obama's DREAMers program. Further Salmeron-Santos, who illegally hired a human trafficker to smuggle her daughter across an international border, isn’t facing charges.


“The DHS officials were notified that Salmeron-Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron-Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS delivers the child to her -- thus successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. This DHS policy is a dangerous course of action,” Judge Hanen wrote.


The order accuses DHS of encouraging parents to “seriously jeopardize the safety of their children,” and states DHS policy enables violent drug cartels, undermines efforts to deter criminal activity or further violations and lowers the morale of law enforcement agents working to enforce the law on the border.


“In the last year, this Court has seen instances where aliens being smuggled were assaulted, raped, kidnapped and or killed. Time and again this Court has been told by representatives of the Government and the defense that cartels control the entire smuggling process. These entities are not known for their concern for human life....The Government is not only allowing them to fund the illegal and evil activities of these cartels, but is also inspiring them to do so,” the order states. “These men and women [law enforcement], with no small risk to their own safety, do their best to enforce our laws and protect the citizens of the United States. It seems shameful that some policymaker in their agency institutes a course of inaction that negated their efforts. It has to be frustrating to those that are actually doing the work of protecting Americans when those efforts are thwarted by a policy that supports lawmakers.”


Border Patrol and ICE agents have increasingly expressed frustration toward DHS policies that do not allow them to enforce immigration law. ICE Council President Chris Crane has repeatedly stressed the risk agents Americans face when laws are not upheld.

“The DHS policy is as logical as taking illegal drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation/exportation,” Judge Hanen concluded. “DHS should enforce the laws of the United States -- not break them.”



Katie Pavlich

Katie Pavlich is the News Editor at Townhall.com. Follow her on Twitter @katiepavlich. She is a New York Times Best Selling author. Her new book Assault and Flattery: The Truth About the Left and Their War on Women, will be published on July 8, 2014.

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