It’s not unusual for immigrant children crossing illegally into the U.S. to do so with morning-after pills in their purses or pockets because their parents expect them to be raped during the dangerous journey, according to a U.S. Border Patrol agent.

“We see these kids getting abused on the Mexican side,” Agent Hector Garza (shown above, center) told Fox News host Laura Ingraham on “The Ingraham Angle” Tuesday night. “We know that some of these female children that come across — their parents send them with Plan B medication because they are expected to be raped along the journey coming through Mexico and Central America.”

Garza was referring to the controversy that has erupted in recent weeks over immigrant children being temporarily separated by U.S. border officials from parents suspected of coming to this country illegally.

He said the controversy has obscured the reality that many illegal immigrants — along with drug cartels, terrorist groups and human traffickers — use children who aren’t theirs to defraud the U.S. asylum system and amnesty processes.

Ingraham hosted her show Tuesday night from the U.S.-Mexico border near San Diego, where she decried false reports by mainstream media figures, politicians, and open-borders advocates claiming such children are being kept in horrible government facilities comparable to concentration and internment camps from the World War II era.

Hector said criminal cartels use the crisis to distract U.S. law enforcement from their activities. Officials also worry the children will be put at further risk if adults claiming to be their parents aren’t verified.

Border Patrol Agent Terry Shigg (shown above, right) told Ingraham the recent increase in illegal immigrants coming into the country with children reflects the fact that doing so worked for others in the past.

Related: Critics Are Wrong, Illegals’ Kids Being Well Cared for, Sessions Says

“That’s one of the blessings and curse of the internet,” Shigg said. “As soon as someone gets across and they find out what works, what they do is they get on Facebook, they send an email, they get on their cellphone and talk to the people back home and tell them, ‘OK, this is trial and error, this is what works, this is what we were told, this is our script, this was the script that was given to us.'”

The current controversy was prompted in April when the Trump administration began consistently enforcing laws against illegally entering the country. When authorities arrest a parent with a child, the child cannot accompany the adult to jail. So the government must provide food, shelter, clothing and other services for the children, who cannot be held for more than 20 days.

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Related: The Real Cost of the Immigration Crisis Is Measured in American Lives

President Donald Trump’s crackdown on illegal immigration has resulted in children being separated from the adults who illegally brought them into the country. Administration officials claim they have no choice but to enforce the law and that President Barack Obama’s administration’s lack of consistent enforcement encouraged illegal immigrants to use children routinely.

Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced May 7 that immigrants will be arrested if they cross the border illegally. Many of the illegal immigrants arrested at the border with children then ask for asylum, a process that can take longer than the 20 days they are allowed to hold children.

Sessions argued that not detaining the immigrants is not an option because their claims must be assessed. It could also put the children at risk since some illegal immigrants pose as parents in their efforts to seek asylum. But critics counter the approach is inhumane, comparing the facilities in which the children are being kept to concentration camps.

Related: Hysteria Aside, Losing Track of Immigrant Kids Nothing New

The Department of Homeland Security explained February 15 that the loopholes stem from a settlement agreement in 1997. The agreement put strict restrictions on holding a child for more than 20 days.

Sessions said immigrants seeking asylum can keep their families intact by entering the U.S. through one of the dozens of legal ports of entry instead of crossing the border illegally.

Connor Wolf covers Congress and national politics and can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter.