One of the Left’s emotional weapons it uses to continue its open border agenda is unaccompanied alien children. A historic number of these children have crossed the southern border during the Biden administration—their parents were enticed by promises of entry into the U.S. and other immigration benefits for their children.
But they are often brutally mistreated on the journey, and many do not face happy endings once here. Sadly, unknown numbers are sex-trafficked, subjected to child labor, and face other abuses. But Congress has an opportunity to end this inhumanity beginning this week when it considers the Secure the Border Act in the House.
The Biden administration refuses to end the flow of unaccompanied alien children, but if you dare call out those on the Left for this exploitation or try to prevent it, they attack you as cruel and unwilling to help children.
To successfully stop the flow of unaccompanied children coming to the U.S., it is important to know how it started. In 2008, the Democrat-majority House and Senate passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act. In it was folded a bill formerly known as the Unaccompanied Alien Child Protection Act, originally introduced by Sen. Dianne Feinstein, D-Calif., and Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-Calif., in 2000 and unsuccessfully reintroduced in each successive Congress until it was included as Section 235 in the “must-pass” Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act.
This law strangely distinguishes between children from contiguous countries (Mexico and Canada) and the rest of the world. Children from Canada and Mexico are returned to their home country while those from every other country are brought into the U.S.; turned over to the Department of Health and Human Services; and provided legal counsel, legal orientation presentations to their custodians, child advocates, expedited special immigrant juvenile status, green cards, and asylum benefits.
Anyone who read the bill knew it would entice parents to send their children across the border unaccompanied to receive immigration benefits and gain a foothold in the U.S. so their families could hopefully later follow and be reunified with them in the U.S.
With the title of “Trafficking Victims Protection,” of course, the bill passed Congress, and the number of unaccompanied children has predictably and rapidly risen ever since. Just since Joe Biden has been in the White House, border agents have encountered over 371,000 of these children, a historic number.
Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas basically advertised this opportunity for the Mexican drug cartels to smuggle children into the U.S. by repeatedly stating he would not turn unaccompanied children back from the border.
Their misery doesn’t end once the children enter the U.S., sadly. Unable to find and vet enough sponsors to take in the children, HHS has lowered the standards for sponsors under HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra’s stated “assembly line” treatment. The result has been over 85,000 lost children as well as sex trafficking and child labor violations, which makes Section 235 of the Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act, erroneously called “Enhancing Efforts to Combat the Trafficking of Children,” an abject failure.
Ideally, Section 235 should be repealed entirely. However, a good alternative is in the Secure the Border Act the House is considering this week, which would end the disparate treatment of children by nationality and seek the swift return of all children to their country of origin, unless they are trafficking victims and have a fear of return.
The Left will label anyone who supports closing this unaccompanied child loophole as “inhumane” as they seek to shame members of Congress away from supporting this legislation. Meanwhile, it is critical to recognize that the Left does not try to stop the flow of unaccompanied children to the U.S. and works mightily to keep children here rather than return them to their home country and their families. Then, the Biden administration works to bring the families of these children into the U.S. for family reunification.
Soon, the Left will demand amnesty-like protection and green cards for these children because they entered the U.S. unaccompanied. But that was thanks to its own handiwork and design of Section 235.
Fifteen years is too long for this pipeline of child exploitation. It is time for Congress to end it. That means members need to stand up to the guaranteed attacks from the Left. After three years of the Left keeping kids out of school, masked, mandatorily vaccinated, indoctrinated, and secretly encouraged to question their gender and pursue gender mutilation, the Left has shown that it does not hold the moral high ground with respect to children.
Congress needs to stand up to the Left like brave parents have these past three years to protect children and the rule of law in America. It should repeal Section 235 to prevent this ongoing child exploitation. In the alternative, Congress should close the unaccompanied children loophole and return children to their home country and their families.
This piece originally appeared in The Daily Signal