(The Center Square) – U.S. Senate Republicans launched a video on Wednesday claiming that President Joe Biden has “created the largest child trafficking ring in U.S. history.”
The video quotes Republican senators at hearings expressing concern about the extraordinary number of unaccompanied minors being trafficked to and through the U.S. southern border. In one clip, U.S. Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, says “Biden does not care about the 300,000 plus unaccompanied children that have been placed with sponsors since he became president.”
In another, U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says, “the Biden administration has utterly failed to secure the border and has encouraged parents to send their minor alien children on dangerous trips to the United States unaccompanied. It’s failed to protect these children after they’ve been let into the United States.”
The video points to reports that reveal at least 85,000 children have gone missing because the federal agencies tasked with caring for them can’t account for where they are. After the children were smuggled into the U.S., the Biden administration released them to sponsors under the oversight of the Department of Homeland Security and Department of Health and Human Service’s Office of Refugee Resettlement.
The Biden administration says the children are coming to live with family members. But reports show many weren’t placed with family members or anyone else they knew.
Initial reports indicated more than 45,000 children, in just a few months evaluated in an Axios investigation, were missing by early 2022. Since then, that number has more than doubled. Unaccompanied minors using falsified papers have been working in meat processing plants, prompting federal investigations over alleged child labor law violations. They’ve also been involved in encouraging others to participate in organized crime at a public school by soliciting funds to pay their human smuggler, or coyote, who helped them illegally enter the U.S.
Last year, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis called for an investigation and asked the Florida Supreme Court to empanel a grand jury to investigate trafficking of children into Florida. It did, and the grand jury found the federal government’s management of unaccompanied children’s release and transport resulted in “facilitating the forced migration, sale, and abuse of foreign children.”
The process “exposes children to horrifying health conditions, constant criminal threat, labor and sex trafficking, robbery, rape and other experiences not done justice by mere words,” Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody said when announcing the findings in April. She also called on Congress to investigate and take action.
Since then, Congress has held several hearings, and clips from those hearings are highlighted in the Senate GOP video. The video also highlights information from New York Times investigations into child trafficking of children from the border.
In January, The New York Times reported that unaccompanied minors were placed with human traffickers by the Biden administration. In February, it reported “exploited” migrant children were working in “brutal jobs across the US” in violation of child labor laws. In August, it reported “the White House and federal agencies were repeatedly warned of risks” to children and the “warnings were either ignored or missed.”
Moody and many others have called on Congress to impeach Department of Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas, claiming he’s violated federal law, lied multiple times under oath before Congress, and is endangering American and unaccompanied children’s lives.
Border Patrol Union Vice President Art Del Cueto has also said that the majority of Border Patrol officers want Mayorkas impeached.
U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri, says he’s written to the FBI asking it “to find out where the 80,000-plus children are that this administration has lost. They don’t know.
“The kids are in danger. The kids are in slavery. They are being exploited. And it should not happen in the United States of America.”
The Biden administration has maintained that the border is closed and that after the children are placed in homes with sponsors, HHS is no longer responsible for them.
While saying the border is closed, the administration created another parole program inviting millions more people from four countries to come to the U.S. to “unify families.” It did so after on May 31, it ended DNA testing to determine if family units were really family units arriving at the border. Border Patrol agents have told The Center Square the policy is incentivizing crime.
Prior to apprehensions declining last month between ports of entry and increasing at ports of entry, the Border Patrol union warned, “[Mexican] cartels are still running the border. That hasn’t changed. They control the flow of illegal aliens coming in. Period.”
Since Biden’s been in office, more than 8 million people have illegally entered the U.S. – totaling more than the individual populations of 38 states.