The migrant surge is boosting the smuggling of children for forced labor and sexual exploitation, converting the border into a “huge market” for “child sex trafficking,” Rep. Maria Salazar (R-FL) said this week.
“Human trafficking, my friends, is slavery,” Rep. Burgess Owens (R-UT) pointed out as he briefed reporters Wednesday alongside Salazar and other Republicans.
He went on to note “30 percent of the women and girls coming through this [migration] process are going to be raped.”
“We can’t standby and let that happen. We have boys and girls as young as six or seven years old being pushed into sex trafficking,” he added.
Some parents put their child on the migration pathway to the U.S. southern border process with “false hope” who never hear from their child again because that child will die, Owens also said.
“President Biden should be ashamed of himself. Ashamed. This was preventable,” Owens pointed out, adding, “There are people suffering, going through misery because they were given false hope.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Reps. Carlos Giménez (R-FL) and Mario Diaz-Balart (R-FL) joined the Republicans who spoke to reporters on Tuesday.
Salazar reiterated comments she made when she visited Texas Monday, noting that Biden’s policies fuel the ongoing crisis at the southern border. She claimed they put the lives of migrants, including unaccompanied children, at risk during the harrowing trip, and they encourage sex trafficking.
Addressing the U.S. Latino community, Salazar said in Spanish:
Unfortunately, once again, we have a crisis at the border. Our Hispanic community is being used on the one hand by human traffickers, drug cartels, and coyotes who create false hope for immigrants who want to reach the United States. On the other hand, we have the Washington politicians … who play with our community’s hopes to stay in power and win votes.
Referring to her recent visit to Texas, the congresswoman added in Spanish:
We saw the crisis with our own eyes. Coyote scoundrels who are peddling the delusion of obtaining an easy political asylum, claiming President Biden has opened the border for everyone who wants to enter.
Meanwhile, our children are being trafficked. Our girls are being raped, and when I say trafficked … [I mean into] forced labor and sexual exploitation.
It is a very harsh phrase, but that is what’s happening — child sex trafficking is one of the fastest-growing crimes in the world. And unfortunately, it has a huge market on the border of the United States and Mexico.
Her colleagues agreed the Biden border policies have made it easier and more profitable for human traffickers, many linked to drug cartels, to operate.
“We are in essence funding sex trafficking,” Rep. Diaz-Balart proclaimed, adding:
This is a humanitarian crisis. We are talking about thousands of girls who are being raped in the course of trying to reach the southern border. We are talking about the fact that now the United States, by this policy and rhetoric of President Biden’s administration … [is] financing the coyotes and the human trafficking cartels on the southern border of the United States.
“Biden has lost control of the border,” Sen. Graham pointed out.
Rep. Giménez called on Biden to secure the southern international boundary by reinstituting at least some of the border measures implemented by the Trump administration.
“Not everything that was put in by the previous administration needs to be dismantled. Those policies were working, the border was under control, and we could handle the situation. We need to get back to that and do better,” he said.
During the briefing Tuesday focused on the border crossing surge, Salazar promoted an amnesty plan for illegal aliens living in the United States as border crossings skyrocket at the U.S.-Mexico border.
“We don’t want any more false promises, false hopes,” Salazar said. “We want for those 11 million undocumented who are here in the country to be treated with dignity.”