Republicans Seek Testimony from Biden Official over Exploited Migrant Minors Working in U.S.

LA JOYA, TEXAS-March 25, 2021-Ten-year-old Christopher Garcia, center, sits with fellow Central American migrants in Texas's Rio Grande Valley waiting transport to a Border Patrol holding area on March 25, 2021.(PLEASE REFER TO STORY ON ID) Christopher traveled alone from San Pedro Sula, Honduras to reach the United States. The …
File Photo: Carolyn Cole / Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

House Judiciary Committee Republicans requested Monday that the director at the Office of Refugee Resettlement appear for questioning on migrant children and teenagers working in dangerous jobs across the country.

The request, made in a letter obtained by Breitbart News to Director Robin Marcos, comes after the New York Times published a gut-wrenching exposé about the “shadow work force” of migrant children and teens working behind the scenes to process products used by popular companies, including Ben & Jerry’s, J. Crew, Cheerio’s, and Ford Motor Company, potentially in violation of U.S. child labor laws.

Committee chair Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) and two of the committee’s top immigration hawks, Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Tom McClintock (R-CA), authored the letter.

“Our oversight includes an examination of the troubling actions by the federal government to diminish safeguards for unaccompanied alien children (UACs) during the worst illegal immigration crisis in our nation’s history,” the Republicans wrote.

Read the letter below:

Along with the overall surge in illegal migration, the number of unaccompanied children and teens encountered crossing the border illegally sharply increased when President Joe Biden took office, according to U.S. Customs and Border Protection data.

Border officials have encountered more than 330,000 unaccompanied children and teens at the southern border since January 2021. In the first four months of fiscal year 2023, they encountered nearly 47,000. In contrast, the entirety of fiscal year 2020 saw less than 34,000. The Biden administration is on pace to surpass the average number of encounters during each full fiscal year of the Trump administration by next month.

Typically, officials within the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) first encounter the minors at the border and then transfer them to the Health and Human Services Department (HHS), which houses the Office of Refugee Resettlement.

The Republicans’ cited in their letter an “alarming change” at DHS and HHS that they said has enabled the exploitation of minors in the ways laid out in the Times report.

The change occurred in a 2021 Memorandum of Agreement between DHS and HHS, which removed the requirement that HHS must provide “biographic and biometric data for all adult members of a sponsor’s household in order to check the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s national and statewide criminal history, child abuse and neglect, and sex offender databases prior to placement of a UAC” with that sponsor.

The change coincides with HHS staff telling the Times that HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra has been urging his employees to rush children and teenagers through HHS and onto an adult sponsor, perhaps to manage the department’s capacity in the midst of migrants continuing to flood across the border.

“If Henry Ford had seen this in his plants, he would have never become famous and rich. This is not the way you do an assembly line,” Becerra said in a video leaked to the Times.

The Republicans wrote, “The failure of this administration to adequately screen sponsors of UACs and monitor them after placement has resulted in UACs being exploited and working in extremely dangerous jobs children are legally prohibited from doing.”

They requested Marcos contact the committee to set up a transcribed interview within the next two weeks.

Write to Ashley Oliver at Follow her on Twitter at @asholiver.


Please let us know if you're having issues with commenting.