Immigration officers report that 3,100 migrants over the past year have made fraudulent claims about their family ties in the U.S., according to NPR. Some migrants who claimed to be minors were actually over 18, and some who claimed to be parents of children were not actually related to them at all, officials report.
Border officials say this creates problems with families who make legitimate claims of asylum not being taken seriously, and illegal immigrant children not being taken care of properly.
In some cases, children are reportedly sent across the border multiple times with different groups of people to make them appear as if they are parts of different families. In general, because of protests over children being separated from family members when illegal immigrant adults cross the border, illegal immigrants who come with children are not detained. That provides incentive for illegal immigrants to hire or "rent" the use of children to claim as their own.
With more and more people coming in to America seeking asylum, border officials say it will become difficult to determine who really needs help, and who doesn't. They also say presenting fake documents at the border, such as birth certificates, is also an issue:
We found cases where adults have been coming in with kids who are not their kids, yet they're claiming that they're their children. We found birth certificates that have been forged.—Ramiro Cordero, El Paso, Texas, Border Patrol Special Operations Supervisor (to NPR)
You can read the rest of NPR's article here: Migrant Families