(PatriotWise.com) — A child trafficking expert said cartels exploit loopholes in the federal immigration system to move children across the Mexican-US border. Jaco Booyens, an anti-trafficking activist, said the United States is the “number one nation on earth” for child trafficking. Booyens said the cartels know that people won’t be turned away at ports of entry, and their chances of gaining US access are enhanced if a child accompanies them.
“If they make it into the country, and they’re home free, then they actually send that child back to Mexico with a mule,” Booyens said. He added that children are being used as “passports” by unscrupulous cartels.
A National Institute of Justice report states that criminal networks south of the border make hundreds of dollars for each person they sneak into the US, and as much as $50,000 for some. The report also claims that up to 70% of people crossing the border do so with the help of people smugglers or traffickers.
Wisconsin Republican Rep. Glenn Grothman has warned that the crimes on the southern border are increasing child labor in America. A report in February revealed that more than 100 kids were employed illegally in slaughterhouses in Wisconsin. The investigation found that children were working with potentially-harmful chemicals and cleaning meat processing equipment including saws and head splitters.
Grothman, who is chair of the House Oversight Subcommittee on National Security, the Border and Foreign Affairs, blamed Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra who he said encouraged “assembly line speed in releasing unaccompanied alien children to poorly vetted sponsors across the country to the detriment of children’s safety.”
In April, Tennessee Sen. Marsha Blackburn wrote to Becerra saying she is concerned about reports that children are handed over to unvetted sponsors, leading to exploitation and abuse. She added that 250,000 children had crossed into the United States since President Biden took office. Becerra said he was unfamiliar with the statistics and unaware that children were forced to work in unlawful conditions.
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