Whistleblower to tell House that US govt is ‘middleman’ in multibillion dollar migrant child trafficking op

On Wednesday, a House Judiciary Subcommittee will hear testimony from a whistleblower warning lawmakers that the U.S. is now the “middleman”, in a multi-billion dollar child trafficking operation along the border.

The House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity Security and Enforcement will hold a hearing entitled “The Biden border crisis: Exploitation Unaccompanied Alien Child” to examine the surge of unaccompanied children at the southern borders.

Customs and Border Protection statistics show that the number of UACs arriving at the border increased from 33,239 during fiscal year 2020, to over 146,000 in fiscal 2021, and to 152,000 in fiscal 2022. In fiscal year 2023 there have already been over 70,000 unaccompanied child encounters.

Children who are found at the border are taken into custody by Health and Human Services and then reunited with their sponsors – usually a parent or a family member living in the U.S.

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The Biden administration was rocked recently by reports that the administration had ignored signs of an “explosive growth” in child labor. Some have been forced to work in indentured service in order to repay smugglers.

Three witnesses will be heard at the hearing on Wednesday: Tara Lee Rodas is a former HHS inspector general who was a whistleblower; Sheena Rodrguez, founder and president Alliance for a Safe Texas, and Jessica Vaughn is director of Policy Studies for the Center for Immigration Studies.

Rodas’ written testimony, obtained by Fox News Digital, indicates that she will speak out against a problem which predates her administration and has grown significantly since the recent migration crisis.

Today, children will be working overnight shifts in factories, slaughterhouses and restaurants to pay off their debts with smugglers. She will announce that today, children will sold for sex. Today, children will call an emergency hotline and report that they have been abused, neglected or trafficked. Since nearly a decade ago, unaccompanied children suffer in the dark.

Rodas will discuss her volunteer work at an emergency intake center in California, helping the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement to identify sponsors for minors that have crossed the border.

“I thought that I would help place children into loving homes. I learned that the children were being trafficked by a sophisticated network. It began with them being recruited at home, then smuggled across the border to America, and ended when ORR delivered a child to their sponsor. Some sponsors are criminals, traffickers, and members of Transnational Criminal Organizations. Some sponsors see children as assets and commodities that can be used to earn income. This is why labor trafficking has exploded, Rodas wrote.

“Whether intentional or not, it can be argued that the U.S. Government has become the middleman in a large scale, multi-billion-dollar, child trafficking operation run by bad actors seeking to profit off the lives of children.”

Rodriguez, from the Alliance for a Safe Texas (AFT), will discuss her encounters with unaccompanied children on the border. She will also share her experience of meeting teenage boys who told her cartel cooperatives transport children through Mexico, and hold them in warehouses under armed guards. She will also demand that federal agencies be investigated and the practice of releasing migrants back to their sponsors is stopped.

“We cannot continue to turn a blind-eye and pretend that this is not happening.” Congress can stop it, and that’s why I call on you to act right,” she said in her testimony.

Vaughn, meanwhile, will also call for action by Congress, including closing legal loopholes, which she claims force the government to “operate a massive program of catch-and-release for illegally arriving alien children.”

She will state that “they have been carelessly pushed through the hands of U.S. government and contractor agencies, and then handed over to sponsors who are also usually here illegally” in our communities with no regard for their safety or well-being. There is no doubt that the system of processing minors who have crossed illegally has been dysfunctional for some time and must be improved.

HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra reacted last month to the fact that HHS is unable contact 85,000 minors. He also stated that Congress has limited HHS’s authority.

He said: “I’ve never heard of that 85,000 figure, and I have no idea where it came from. So I’d say it’s not realistic. We try to follow up with these children as much as we can.”

“Congress gave us certain powers. When we find a sponsor for the child, our authority ends. He said that while we try to do some following up, neither the child nor the sponsor are actually required to follow up with.

Susan Rice, who left her position this week as domestic policy advisor, responded to a report in the Times that her team had been shown evidence of an increasing migrant child labour crisis.

She said, “We never heard of any systematic problem involving child labor or migrant children.”