Migrant shelter employee pleads guilty to harboring juvenile she allegedly helped escape

Migrant Centers

BROWNSVILLE, Texas (KVEO)—A Brownsville woman pleaded guilty to harboring an undocumented Honduran minor whom she helped escape from the migrant shelter where she worked, according to U.S. Attorney Ryan K. Patrick.

Karla Izaguirre, 24, appeared in federal court on Monday.

As an employee of Southwest Key, a government-sponsored shelter, Izaguirre had been professionally trained to work and care for undocumented juveniles.

The teen was an unaccompanied minor who entered the United States illegally and was under Southwest Key’s supervision, according to the news release.

On July 5, 2019, the facility sponsored an outing at the Harlingen Arts and Heritage Museum. While there, the teen fled on foot.

The investigation led to Izaguirre, according to the release. Authorities subsequently arrested her, at which time she acknowledged knowing the minor boy was illegally present in the United States and helping to plan the escape.

She also admitted she harbored him in her own home for approximately three months.

U.S. District Judge Fernando Rodriguez accepted the plea and set sentencing for Dec. 8.

At that time, Izaguirre faces up to five years in federal prison and a possible $250,000 maximum fine. Izaguirre will remain in custody pending that hearing.

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