Feds Probing Possible Labor Trafficking Pipeline of Migrant Kids into U.S. Jobs

Venezuelan asylum seeker Jehan Carlo Ramirez carries his daughter Joannys S. Ramirez, 2, b

Investigators with the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are reportedly probing a possible labor trafficking pipeline of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) into American jobs, particularly in the meatpacking industry.

A report from NBC News details the probe by federal investigators into whether UACs, released directly into the United States by DHS, were the victims of a labor trafficking scheme coordinated to provide meatpacking companies and supporting industries with cheap, young border crossers — most of whom are teenagers — who were forced to take the jobs while traffickers profited.

Specifically, sources close to the probe told NBC News that investigators interviewed a number of UACs who were allegedly employed by Packers Sanitation Services Inc., which provides cleaning workers to Brazilian-owned JBS Foods — a behemoth in the meatpacking industry.

Previously, as Breitbart News has reported, investigators discovered many UACs working for the cleaning service company at five different plants, including those in Grand Island, Nebraska, and Worthington, Minnesota, where the UAC population has boomed recently.

NBC News reports:

Homeland Security Investigations’ inquiry into possible human trafficking was triggered by the large numbers of migrant minors involved in the case and not necessarily by specific allegations of trafficking, two DHS officials say. [Emphasis added]

The children who worked for PSSI attended school during the day and worked overnight facing dangerous conditions, with some as young as 13 and 14 found to have chemical burns on their hands from exposure to strong cleaning chemicals, according to court documents the government filed in its lawsuit against PSSI and a local police report previously obtained and reported by NBC News. [Emphasis added]

Rural counties where the Labor Department found children working in PSSI facilities have become home to hundreds of unaccompanied minors living with sponsors since 2015, according to data collected and released by HHS. Advocates and officials are concerned that some of the minors may be working in the counties’ significant livestock industry. [Emphasis added]

The case is hardly the first of its kind.

In July 2022, Reuters unveiled in a months-long investigative report that UACs, trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border, were allegedly working illegally at a Hyundai Motor auto plant in Alabama.

A 14-year-old female UAC, in one such case, and her two brothers, 12 and 15-years-old, had worked at the Alabama auto plant and were not attending school. UACs were also allegedly working at nearby auto parts suppliers, possibly 50 who were holding jobs at one point.

“We’re building a child laborforce under the Biden administration because every [poor migrant] has to work with prices the way they are,” NumbersUSA’s Rosemary Jenks said at the time.

The allegations of a widespread labor trafficking pipeline targeting migrant children come as recent reports have indicated that President Joe Biden’s administration is losing track of tens of thousands of UACs released into the U.S. interior.

In October 2022, Breitbart News exclusively reported that the Biden administration had lost track of nearly 20,000 UACs who were released into American communities in just 13 months.

The figure indicates that almost 2-in-10 UACs released by the Biden administration to a sponsor living in the U.S. from late January 2021 to late February 2022 could not be located. Likewise, about 20 percent of UACs freed into the U.S. interior during the same time period were released to sponsors who are not their relatives.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Email him at jbinder@breitbart.com. Follow him on Twitter here.


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