Various immigrants illegally crossing the southern U.S. border are partnering up and agreeing to lease younger immigrants in “rent-a-kid” schemes, sources say, in hopes to fool federal agents into releasing them into the country as a family, rather than face individual deportation.

Under the realization those entering with children stand a greater chance of staying than those sans kids, U.S. Rep. Henry Cuellar (D-TX) says immigrants are executing a tried-and-true technique that all but ensures them a hearing before an immigration judge – which 90 percent fail to attend.

“In the 1980s, what they were doing was ‘rent a kid.’ In other words they knew that if you were coming with a child you would be treated differently,” U.S. Representative Henry Cuellar recently told Action 4 News.

“Think about it, if you are an adult and you said, ‘What’s the best way to come in? Hey, bring a child.’ This is why that screening process by Border Patrol is going to be very important,” Rep. Cuellar stated.

Chris Cabrera, vice president of the National Border Patrol Council Local 3307 chapter, agrees that immigrants are wising up on how to avoid deportation.

“We know that up north in San Antonio area and Lackland air force base that some people have come across and said that yes they were approached by adults and told they were going to be family,” Cabrera also recently told Action 4 News.

“They get together and come up with a back story that they will be able to get through, and once they pass through the screening and checkpoints they part ways,” Cabrera said.

Cabrera had previously revealed agents were encountering immigrants who would profess to be fleeing violence in their home countries, but notes many statements sounded rehearsed, leading him to believe they’d been coached on what to say somewhere along the way.

“You ask them their name and where they’re from, they say that there is violence in my home country and they’ll kill me if you return me,” Cabrera stated. “I do believe there is violence in their home country, but I also believe that a lot of them have been coached.”

It subsequently emerged residents of Texas’ Rio Grande Valley region were finding “cheat sheets” along the border, indicating illegals were being prepped for their encounters with U.S. Customs and Border Protection agents.

Cabrera’s observations mirror ICE union boss Chris Crane’s statements to a House Judiciary Committee more than a year ago, where he said immigrants were easily exploiting the broken U.S. immigration system simply by lying.

“What message do ICE practices send to the world?” Crane rhetorically asked the committee. “The message is: ‘We don’t enforce our laws, come on over, and if you do get caught, just lie to us. Lie about the day and year you entered, lie about going to high school, you won’t be required to prove anything.’

Knowing deportation is currently a remote prospect, many immigrants have grown so emboldened that they’re also openly defying immigration law in statements to agents.

“I’ve heard people come in and say, ‘You’re going to let me go, just like you let my mother go, just like you let my sister go. You’re going to let me go as well, and the government’s going to take care of us,’” Cabrera told National Review’s Ryan Lovelace last month.

“Until we start mandatory detentions, mandatory removals, I don’t think anything is going to change. As a matter of fact, I think it’s going to get worse.”

As far as receiving money to be leased as a “rent-a-kid,” Cabrera says that no one is being paid, but that being released into the U.S. is the ultimate payoff.

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