During the last big wave of unaccompanied alien minors (UAMs) in 2019, a Border Patrol agent said something to me that shook me to my core. He said that he was “sick and tired of having to administer rape kits to nine-year olds.”
While that statement might be shocking, it’s actually going on right now. Except in 2021, the problem is much, much bigger, meaning so is the pool of victims. In March of 2019, when that statement was made, there were roughly 9,380 UAMs apprehended at the border. Those numbers have absolutely exploded – nearing 19,000 last month alone. Today, more than 23,000 UAMs are in the custody of the federal government.
Unfortunately, it’s not likely that those numbers will go down anytime soon, since the Biden Administration has promised to not send any of these minors back home and word has spread like wildfire that the U.S. border is severely under protected and easily exploited. And the most devastating fact is that it’s the Biden Administration that has not only caused this spike in child trafficking, but shows no desire to try and deter future surges, despite plenty of evidence of child abuse.
Sadly for these kids, they’re not only being exploited along the way – nearly 70 percent of migrants report being victims of violence during their trip to the U.S.– but their lives are being put in danger, sometimes on purpose, to distract Border Patrol so that illegal and criminal aliens can successfully smuggle drugs, humans and weapons into this country.
Of course there were the two young Ecuadorean girls who were simply dropped off the border wall into the U.S. by their smuggler, who probably didn’t know or care if someone would find them before they succumbed to the desert elements. And then there’s the case of the six month old baby girl thrown from a raft into the Rio Grande River last month, probably as a way to force the Border Patrol to focus on a river rescue while the rest of the raft occupants tried to sneak into the U.S. undetected.
Congresswoman Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) recently visited the border and reported that many children are now simply being left at the river with phone numbers of relatives in the U.S., most of whom are likely here illegally. The incessant surge of children has resulted in 34 percent of Border Patrol agents being pulled off the border in order to babysit.
Overcrowded detention facilities, while COVID continues to ravage the country, remains an ongoing problem. Representative Buddy Carter (R-GA) noted that a facility that he visited had a capacity of 250 but was actually warehousing more than 5,000 people.
Thankfully, the dangers these kids face have not gone unnoticed. The president of Guatemala recently criticized the Biden administration, scolding it for sending mixed and confusing messages about their welcoming of illegal aliens – particularly illegal alien children – into the U.S. “So a huge wave of migrant unaccompanied children starts, that’s a matter of concern because as soon as they cross the border between Mexico and the U.S., they fall into the hands of cartels for prostitution networks and so on,” he said.
The other side of this tragedy, which is getting very little media attention, is the success at which people looking to evade detection while entering the U.S. illegally – notably those with ties to terrorism, criminal aliens, and human and drug smuggling – are entering undetected in massive numbers.
Border Patrol agent Art del Cueto recently noted that in the Tucson sector alone, tens of thousands of “got aways” or those who make it into the U.S. undetected, was a serious public health and public safety issue. “I can tell you here in Tucson Sector, because agents are having to deal with the unaccompanied juveniles and the family units, year to date — this is just a guess — they’re looking at over 40,000 people that have gotten away.”
The final point to make about this crisis is that it’s making the Mexican cartels filthy rich, with some estimating they are making nearly $14 million per day with their human smuggling operations. Representative Ronny Jackson (R-TX) recently noted that illegal immigrants being held in Corrizo Springs, Texas, have acknowledged that they will be forced to ‘pay off’ their debts to the cartels – which their families can not afford, by going to work for the cartels once they’re in the U.S.
The administration not only refuses to send Border Czar Kamala Harris to the border, it appears they are expecting the situation will get much, much worse before it gets better. Unfortunately, instead of talking about deterring future illegal immigration, the administration is instead focused on making the processing more efficient. An early April trip by the House Judiciary committee was told that the administration will soon be able to process 60,000 children every 24 days. That’s hundreds of thousands of kids coming into the country over the next year.
We’re soon to face a self-inflicted humanitarian crisis with no end in sight. The public should be very concerned.
Dave Ray is communications director at the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) in Washington D.C.