Muckraker released a video on X showing unsettling footage of young children being placed in large vans with tinted windows as their shady escorts hid their name badges and instructed them not to speak to reporters. Unfortunately, these children's fate is a big mystery, and there are thousands more just like them who disappear in the U.S. on a regular basis.
According to the publication, around 350,000 children enter the country unaccompanied every year, and 85,000 of those children have gone missing. Many are forced into a life of involuntary servitude, commercial sex trafficking and other horrors that potentially include organ harvesting.
Many of these children come from remote areas of South and Central America. While some children are lured from their villages by radio ads that tempt them with the idea of enjoying a better life in the U.S., other children are kidnapped or even sold to traffickers by their own parents.
The kids are tagged by the cartel trafficking them, and some are actually carried across the border incapacitated. Border Patrol often looks the other way and books them anyway. Some are given to single adults who want to enter the U.S. to make them appear to be a family and improve their chances of getting into the country; they may be smuggled back into Mexico and then used for this purpose multiple times.
Border Patrol must release unaccompanied children to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) within 72 hours. As they wait to be processed and placed with a sponsor in the U.S., they are held in compounds run by government contractors that Muckraker likens to concentration camps. These centers can be found in places like Eagle Pass, El Paso, Los Fresnos, Carrizo Springs and Pecos.
Many of these compounds have guard towers, double fencing, flood lights and other security features that seem very excessive for a place that is just holding children and has no nefarious connections.
Some children are also held in makeshift compounds in former shopping centers. For example, the NGO Southwest Key keeps children in former Walmart stores. Unfortunately, this particular NGO has a horrible track record, including employees who have been charged with child molestation and sexual assault against children at their facilities. One employee was sentenced to 19 years in prison after sexually abusing kids at the facility and exposing them to the HIV virus. Yet the NGO is still getting funding, receiving $770 million this year alone.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) is supposed to verify the identity of these children’s sponsors, but records show they are failing miserably. Forged documents are not uncommon, and many sponsors are illegal aliens as well. Many children are sent to sponsors who are completely unrelated to them, and the process for vetting these sponsors was recently eased by the Biden administration to reduce bottlenecks. Background checks for some types of sponsors are no longer required, and many of these sponsors are actually human traffickers.
A Congressional report from 2016 acknowledged that “[t]he United States is a source, transit, and destination country for men, women, transgender individuals, and children—both U.S. citizens and foreign nationals—subjected to sex trafficking and forced labor.”
In addition, a report published last month by the DHS Office of Inspector General admitted that “DHS may unknowingly release migrants, including children, to potentially unsafe conditions or smuggling operations.”
A March report filed by a Florida Grand Jury stated clearly: "ORR is facilitating the forced migration, sale, and abuse of foreign children," adding that "The process exposes children to horrifying health conditions, constant criminal threat, labor and sex trafficking." The grand jury concluded that an ORR worker was fired for reporting suspected trafficking in a case involving 100 children being sent to a single house in Texas after her superiors refused to look into it.
After these children are delivered to their “sponsors” by government contractors, ORR calls them after 30 days for a “wellness check” that simply involves asking for verbal confirmation of the status of the child. A third of these calls, or 85,000, have gone unanswered since 2021, and no one ever follows up on it.
It’s anybody’s guess what happens to these children, but we know it often involves sex trafficking and forced labor. And with the Biden Administration continuing to embrace open border policies, there will be a steady supply of children who can be victimized by child traffickers with help from the federal government for the foreseeable future.
Sources for this article include: