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BORDER CRISIS: DHS Secretary says admin ‘reengineered’ process for unaccompanied children

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Following a visit to an immigration facility in Donna, Texas Friday, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas held a press conference to announce changes in processing migrant children.

“We have reengineered the process for the treatment of unaccompanied children,” Mayorkas said. Now, instead of Border Patrol officers corralling the children, they will be sent to Health and Human Services.

“They do not belong in a Border Patrol station,” Mayorkas said. “Children belong in the shelter of Health and Human Services.”

RELATED: Psaki admits White House isn’t focused on border crisis because a ‘smaller percentage’ of public cares

On March 28th, U.S. Border Patrol reported 5,767 children in their custody. These children remained in Border Patrol stations for an average of 133 hours. Later, on April 2nd, there were about 3,700 children in their custody for an average of 139 hours.

“There is unanimous agreement that our immigration system is broken reform is desperately needed,” Mayorkas admitted. But, “we’ve made tremendous progress and we will continue to make tremendous progress.”

RELATED: War Correspondent: ‘It’s a war out there’ on the border

When asked about Title 42, the COVID-19 directive that is currently limiting the flow of migrants, Mayorkas said he doesn’t see it ending soon.

“The pandemic is not yet behind us,” he said, calling it a directive from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. It remains in place “to protect not only the American people but the migrants themselves,” Mayorkas said. Because it is “tied to data,” Mayorkas said it’s a matter of public health standards that it will be lifted, not an executive decision.

RELATED: Whistleblower DHS official speaks out about the border crisis

Mayorkas echoed President Biden’s statements, pinning the blame for the border crisis on the previous administration. “We inherited a system that had been torn down and dismantled,” Mayorkas said.

You can follow Jenny Goldsberry on Twitter @jennyjournalism

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Immigration

DOJ federal indictment connects Sinaloa Cartel and Chinese ‘underground banking’

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The Justice Department (DOJ) announced a huge connection between Chinese organized crime and the Sinaloa drug cartel. In a press release the DOJ reported a 10-count superseding indictment charging Los Angeles-based associates of Mexico’s Sinaloa drug cartel with conspiring with money-laundering groups linked to Chinese underground banking to launder drug trafficking proceeds. During the conspiracy, more than $50 million in drug proceeds flowed between the Sinaloa Cartel associates and Chinese underground money exchanges.”

The indictment was the result of a multi-year investigation into the conspiracy—dubbed “Operation Fortune Runner”— unsealed on Monday charging a total of 24 defendants with one count of conspiracy to aid and abet the distribution of cocaine and methamphetamine, one count of conspiracy to launder monetary instruments, and one count of conspiracy to operate an unlicensed money transmitting business, according to the press release.

“Dangerous drugs like fentanyl and methamphetamine are destroying people’s lives but drug traffickers only care about their profits,” said United States Attorney Martin Estrada. “To protect our community, therefore, it is essential that we go after the sophisticated, international criminal syndicates that launder the drug money. As this indictment and our international actions show, we will be dogged in our pursuit of all those who facilitate destruction in our country and make sure they are held accountable for their actions.”

“Drug traffickers generate immense amounts of cash through their illicit operations. This case is a prime example of Chinese money launderers working hand in hand with drug traffickers to try to legitimize profits generated by drug activities,” said Chief Guy Ficco of IRS Criminal Investigation. “We have made it a priority to identify, disrupt, and dismantle any money launderers working with drug cartels and we are committed to our partnerships with federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies to combat drug cartels and those who assist them in laundering drug proceeds.”

The Justice.Gov website explains of the indictment: “Following close coordination with the Justice Department, Chinese and Mexican law enforcement informed United States authorities that those countries recently arrested fugitives named in the superseding indictment who fled the United States after they were initially charged last year.”

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