(Mark Pellin, Headline USA) A former Health and Human Services official turned whistleblower told a Congressional committee on Wednesday that the Biden administration was acting as the “middleman” to facilitate a highly lucrative child-trafficking racket off the backs of illegal immigrants and benefiting Mexican drug cartels.
In damning and harrowing testimony, Tara Lee Rodas, a federal Inspector General employee who was detailed with HHS at an Emergency Intake Site in Pomona, California, related to lawmakers the horrors that she had seen unfold under Biden’s failing immigration policies.
“Whether intentional or not, it could be argued that the U.S. government has become the middleman in a large scale, multibillion-dollar child trafficking operation that is run by bad actors seeking to profit off of the lives of children,” Rodas told the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration Integrity, Security and Enforcement, during its hearing titled “The Biden Border Crisis: Exploitation of Unaccompanied Alien Children.”
While Rodas said she had originally hoped “to help place children in loving homes, she instead “discovered that children are being trafficked through a sophisticated network that begins with recruiting in their home country.”
The children are then smuggled to the U.S. border, where they are delivered to a sponsor, some of who are “criminals and traffickers and members of transnational criminal organizations,” she said.
“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 said, adding that children are being enslaved working “overnight shifts at slaughterhouses, factories, restaurants to pay their debts to smugglers and traffickers.”
“Today, children will be sold for sex. Today, children will call a hotline to report the are being abused, neglected and trafficked. For nearly a decade, unaccompanied children have been suffering in the shadows,” Rodas said.
“Realizing that we were not offering children the American dream, but instead putting them in modern-day slavery with wicked overlords, was a terrible revelation,” said Rodas, who last year exposed the horrendous abuses to Project Veritas.
And she wasn’t alone. Even the leftist New York Times had documented an alarming increase in cases where children were forced into servitude, often to repay their smuggling costs, while administration officials ignored signs of what the Times called “explosive” growth in child labor.
Jessica Vaughan, director of Policy Studies at the Center for Immigration Studies, related similar abuses and administration failures to lawmakers on Wednesday.
“From the very beginning of his term, President Biden began dismantling a laundry list of policies that had succeeded in controlling the years-long wave of illegal migrants hoping to take advantage of our dysfunctional asylum system and court rulings that require minors and those arriving with minors to be released into the country,” Vaughn said.
The numbers back Vaughn’s claims, with the arrival at the border of unaccompanied alien children skyrocketing. The numbers increased from 33,239 in fiscal year 2020 to more than 146,000 in fiscal year 2021 and 152,000 in fiscal year 2022. There have been more than 70,000 encounters of unaccompanied alien children in the current fiscal year, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection statistics.
Vaughn cast blame directly on the Biden regime, which she said fostered “relaxed immigration enforcement, implementing a lenient catch and release policy for most illegal migrants,” which included unaccompanied alien children
“News of the more lenient policies led to more illegal migrant arrivals, which in turn overwhelmed the border agencies, and compromised their capacity to interview and screen migrants and their handlers,” Vaughn testified, and she brought receipts.
Vaughn cited a “litany of reports” showing “a combination of loopholes in U.S. immigration law, controversial judicial rulings, and deliberate but egregiously misguided policies have led to the victimization of countless young illegal migrants.”
She also referenced news reports that showed HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra urging HHS staff to accelerate the processing of the kids, saying, “This is not the way you do an assembly line.”
“The Biden administration has implemented policies that incentivize the illegal entry of unaccompanied alien children on a massive scale, to the profit of criminal smugglers and traffickers, even with full knowledge of the risks that such policies will endanger the safety and well-being of the migrant children,” Vaughn said.