Whistleblower: 'US Government Has Become the Middleman' for a 'Multi-Billion-Dollar Child Trafficking Operation'
The Biden administration is a partner in a massive child trafficking operation that preys on children crossing America’s southern border, according to witnesses who will present their case to Congress.
On Wednesday a subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee will hear testimony about what happens to unaccompanied children after they crowd the border, according to Fox News.
Tara Lee Rodas, a whistleblower who formerly worked in the inspector general’s office at the Department of Health and Human Services, said children are placed where they do not belong.
“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,” her prepared testimony said.
“Today, children will work overnight shifts at slaughterhouses, factories, restaurants to pay their debts to smugglers and traffickers. Today, children will be sold for sex.”
Rodas said she volunteered at an intake site to help the HHS Office of Refugee Resettlement identify sponsors for children who enter the U.S. illegally.
“I thought I was going to help place children in loving homes. Instead, I discovered that children are being trafficked through a sophisticated network that begins with being recruited in their home country, smuggled to the U.S. border, and ends when ORR delivers a child to a sponsor — some sponsors are criminals and traffickers and members of Transnational Criminal Organizations. Some sponsors view children as commodities and assets to be used for earning income — this is why we are witnessing an explosion of labor trafficking,” Rodas wrote in her prepared testimony.
Customs and Border Protection statistics show that unaccompanied children at the border rose from 33,239 in the 2020 fiscal year to more than 146,000 in fiscal year 2021 and 152,000 in fiscal year 2022. In theory, children are put in the custody of HHS and then connected with a sponsor. However, in February, a report in The New York Times said the Biden administration had lost track of about 85,000 children.
Sheena Rodriguez, founder and president of Alliance for a Safe Texas, who will testify Wednesday, said drug cartels in Mexico transport children into the U.S., according to Fox.
“We can no longer turn a blind eye and pretend this isn’t happening. Congress has the power to stop this, which is why I am calling on you to do what is right,” her prepared remarks said.
The prepared remarks of Jessica Vaughn, director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, said children are “carelessly funneled through the custody of U.S. government agencies and contractors, and handed off to very lightly vetted sponsors (who are usually also here illegally) in our communities without regard to their safety and well-being. There is no question that the system for processing minors who cross illegally is dysfunctional, and has been for some time, and needs to be fixed.”
The Biden administration has heard from internal voices about the issue, according to The New York Times.
“If nothing continues to be done, there will be a catastrophic event,” HHS official Jallyn Sualog warned in 2021, saying the system was “putting children at risk.”
She continued to warn her bosses until she was ultimately demoted and sued, later settling her case and resigning.
“I feel like short of protesting in the streets, I did everything I could to warn them. They just didn’t want to hear it,” Sualog said.
Florida’s Statewide Grand Jury issued a March report documenting the ills of the system, according to the Tampa Bay Times.
“The public is led to believe that the process described by our federal government in documents and popular media accounts at least resembled the truth,” the report said. “ORR asserts that children fleeing from danger are adequately identified, properly cared for, and reunited with their family here in this country.
“In reality, ORR is facilitating the forced migration, sale, and abuse of foreign children, and some of our fellow Florida residents are (in some cases unwittingly) funding and incentivizing it for primarily economic reasons.”
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