After more than one month of another needless Schumer-Pelosi government shutdown, President Trump continues to stand strong in defense of the most vulnerable among us, while Democrats turn a blind eye to a serious crisis: human trafficking across our southern border.
According to the State Department, up to 17,500 — even up to 19,000 — foreign nationals are trafficked into the United States every year. Most of those, an estimated 70 percent, are trafficked from Mexico, and half of those are minors forced into prostitution.
Sex trafficking is one of the top revenue sources for organized crime groups, which exploit our porous borders to inflict lasting damage on countless human lives and harm our communities.
Far too many women and children will continue to suffer if we do not strengthen our borders and enforce the rule of law. Far too many lives will be ruined by policies that enable illegal immigration and transnational crime to continue.
That is why President Trump has made human trafficking a focus of his administration — and he has already made significant progress in addressing it. In 2017, the president signed an executive order to empower law enforcement and provide the resources necessary to dismantle transnational criminal organizations involved in trafficking.
Last April, he signed into law legislation to curb online sex trafficking. Early this year, he signed the Frederick Douglass Act into law, authorizing $430 million to combat human trafficking.
The president’s bold leadership has yielded results: over the first 18 months of his presidency, there was a 743-percent increase in the arrest of traffickers over the first two years of the Obama administration.
Construction of a southern border wall will remain a key part of these efforts to stop traffickers and save women and children.
As the president said in his proclamation, “I have made it a top priority to fully secure our Nation’s Southwest border, including through the continued construction of a physical wall, so that we can stop human trafficking and stem the flow of deadly drugs and criminals into our country.”
Today, President Trump announced he has reached a deal to end the government shutdown and fund our agencies for the next three weeks. He called on members of Congress to come together during that time and negotiate a lasting agreement that funds our government and secures the border.
This is the latest of many negotiation offers the president has made to congressional Democrats. Last weekend he offered a compromise solution, which would put $5.7 billion toward a border barrier in exchange for provisional status to current DACA recipients. President Trump’s proposal would be a historic step forward to solving the humanitarian crisis at our border.
But Democrats continue to stand in the way. They pronounce every White House proposal dead on arrival. They point fingers, leave town, and ignore every call to come to the table. They refuse to support legislation that would provide the funding necessary to build a wall, and in doing so they refuse to curb the illegal immigration that damages the lives of vulnerable women and children.
Over the next three weeks, Democrats must finally join this administration in finding a compassionate solution: stand with vulnerable women and children, keep our communities safe, and secure our border.
Cynthia Dunbar represents Virginia on the Republican National Committee.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.