Congress should demand answers

Arodolo Roberto Castillo-Serrano should be sent to a U.S. prison for a long, long time.

But members of Congress should be asking how he got away with his crimes for so long – and how many others like him are victimizing young illegal immigrants.

Castillo-Serrano, from Guatemala, has been in the United States illegally for about a decade. While here, he has run what amounts to a slavery ring using other illegal immigrants.

He got caught supplying labor to an egg farm near Marion, Ohio. Each morning, he or his henchmen would deliver eight teenagers and two adults to the farm, where they worked until picked up at night. Castillo-Serrano was paid for supplying the labor.

Castillo-Serrano got his claws into some of his victims courtesy of the U.S. government. At least three of the boys, ages 15-17, were from Guatemala and were apprehended by U.S. Border Patrol agents as they tried to slip into this country. They were among thousands of juvenile illegal immigrants caught during the past year or so.

Like the others, the three boys were kept under custody of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of Refugee Resettlement – until being released to Castillo-Serrano as their “sponsor.”

Juveniles handled by that agency can be released to sponsors who promise to take care of them and ensure they show up for court appearances on their immigration status.

Sponsors are supposed to have their identities verified and their relationships to the minors in custody determined. They also are supposed to be subjected to background checks, including comparing their fingerprints to the FBI database.

How, then, did Castillo-Serrano get away with whisking the three boys away from U.S. custody and into forced servitude? And, again, how many other times has the same thing happened with him and other vicious predators? Members of Congress should demand honest answers to those questions.