(LifeSiteNews) — “Sound of Freedom” hero Tim Ballard accused the Biden administration of turning Border Patrol, Department of Homeland Security (DHS), and Health and Human Services (HHS) personnel into de facto “child trafficking delivery services” after losing track of 85,000 migrant children.
Ballard, a former CIA agent who quit his job a decade ago in order to rescue countless innocent children ensnared in the horrific underworld of child sex trafficking, said that the HHS employees he has spoken to dislike having to hand over kids who have arrived unaccompanied into this country to unvetted “sponsors” in what amounts to be the “final leg of a child-trafficking experience.”
“Why is the suicide rate up higher than ever at Border Patrol?” Ballard asked. “Because they are being asked and even compelled to be part of a child-sex-delivery service.”
“This needs to stop,” he declared.
Sponsored by Republican U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey, the bill would “require the Federal Government to report on efforts to locate, establish contact with, conduct wellness checks on, and investigate any suspicion of human trafficking related to approximately 85,000 unaccompanied alien children who crossed the U.S. southern border, were released from Federal custody, and with whom subsequent contact has been lost.”
“Congressman Smith’s the Secure Act will help find these kids that this Administration has claimed on record that it’s not their problem anymore, despite these children being at risk of sexual abuse and other forms of exploitation,” Ballard said during his testimony.
“The United States is generally understood to be the number one consumer of child sexual exploitation material in the world and a major contributor to the abhorrent sex tourism industry around the globe,” he continued. “Now it is up to us to solve this problem.”
“Too often people in this country say ‘this is a problem far, far away. This is a problem we have nothing to do with.’ Well that’s not true,” asserted Ballard, who explained that, according to the State Department, the United States is one of the top three destinations for human trafficking.
“We create so much of the demand, we are so often the tourists abusing children, so it is our problem, and we must solve that problem,” he urged. “Countries around the world are looking to us and to you to solve this problem and end this horrific plague that really is the slavery of children.”
The Secure Act
The bill, which Ballard helped to craft, begins by enumerating troubling facts concerning the welfare of unaccompanied children arriving in this country:
- According to statistics kept by U.S. Customs and Border Protection, at least 345,000 children have crossed the United States southern border unaccompanied since early 2021.
- Thousands of these children have been victims of child sex trafficking, forced child labor, or child sexual exploitation and abuse, or some combination of these crimes.
- The Department of Health and Human Services, through its Office of Refugee Resettlement, was and is responsible for the well-being of these children up through repatriation or placement in safe homes within the United States.
- The Department and the Office have lost contact with as many as 85,000 of these migrant children after placing them with sponsors in the United States and their locations and well-being is currently unknown.
- The risk of child sex trafficking, forced child labor, and sexual exploitation and abuse of these children is immediate and grave.
If enacted, the measure would require the secretary of HHS and Homeland Security and the director of the FBI to jointly submit a status report to several U.S. House committees on the status of all unaccompanied alien children that have been in the custody and care of the Office of Refugee Resettlement since January 1, 2021, and have been released to a parent, family-member, or sponsor within the United States.
Because of previous and current lack of vetting of the persons children have been given to, the joint report would include for each child an assessment of whether he or she is a victim of, or is at risk of being a victim of child sexual exploitation and abuse or severe forms of trafficking and whether all the adults in the home have been subject to a fingerprint-based check of national crime information databases.
The joint report by HHS, Homeland Security, and the FBI must be updated and resubmitted every 60 days, otherwise those agencies would be subjected to a $100,000 each per day until the report is received.