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CHAD WOLF And ROBERT LAW: The American People Don’t Want To Be Complicit In Human Trafficking At The Border

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Chad Wolf and Robert Law America First Policy Institute
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For many Americans, the start of a new year is filled with enthusiasm and presents an opportunity to build on last year’s successes or hit the reset if things did not meet expectations. However, for us, it is also a solemn reminder that January is National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, with January 11 specifically designated as National Human Trafficking Awareness Day. Elevating this serious issue to the forefront draws awareness to the cruel sex trafficking and forced labor that has become far too common in today’s world. In his proclamation continuing the decades-long recognition of National Human Trafficking Prevention Month, President Joe Biden correctly describes human trafficking as “a threat to global security, public safety, and human dignity.”

An estimated 27 million people worldwide are the victims of human trafficking and forced labor. That is an unfathomable figure to digest. While nobody should be subjected to this modern-day form of slavery, we are particularly concerned about the entirely preventable exploitation of vulnerable human trafficking victims in the U.S. caused by the unsecured southern border. Specifically, the record number of unaccompanied alien children who have been trafficked across the southern border since January 20, 2021, is breathtaking. Because of the current open border policies, more than 440,000 unaccompanied alien children have been trafficked or smuggled across the southern border. It is well documented that these vulnerable minors are subjected to abhorrent physical, mental, and sexual abuse as they travel alone, separated from their families. They’re coming because predatory traffickers are convincing them to come — exploiting the fact that, under current border policies, migrant children will be released into American communities even though they do not qualify for asylum. This is not how our immigration system is supposed to operate. (RELATED: WOLF AND LAW: Joe Biden Could Secure The Border Today. Here’s How)

When advocates of open borders claim these policies “uphold our values,” the pertinent follow-up question from the media never comes — whose values? The unaccompanied alien children who are trafficked and smuggled into our country are subjected to haunting futures defined by sex slavery, forced labor, and debt bondage. This is not our conjecture; the New York Times,  hardly a conservative outlet, reported last year detailing these ongoing atrocities. In one article, the Times reported that the administration has lost track of 85,000 unaccompanied alien children. The tragic reality is that vulnerable migrants were likely handed over to unvetted adults from the very trafficking rings that brought them to the border in the first place. Clearly, the trauma does not end at the border.

These are not American values, and the federal government should not have policies in place that enable this abhorrent conduct.

Imposing trauma and physical and emotional scars on vulnerable populations are the values, if you can call them that, of human traffickers. Every illegal alien who crosses the border unlawfully does so under the control of the Mexican cartels and human trafficking and smuggling rings. As we have previously pointed out, the cartels and traffickers thrive on predictability. There is nothing more predictable than the ease of crossing open borders, which explains how the trafficking cartels are now generating at least $13 billion a year — up from $50 million in 2019.  

The American people have had enough. Poll after poll shows that the Biden Administration’s handling of the border crisis is one area where it has lost the public’s faith. The American people reject the policies implemented by their elected officials that impose pain and suffering on so many migrant children. 

The America First approach to ending human trafficking starts with preventing the exploitative journey to our southern border from originating. The American people want a secure border, and that only occurs when effective and deterrent policies are put in place that deprive human traffickers of the ability to take advantage of vulnerable populations with the false promise of release into American communities. Resuming abandoned policies like the Migrant Protection Protocols, commonly known as the Remain in Mexico policy, and the asylum cooperative agreements that allow migrants to seek relief closer to home could have an immediate effect on ending the inhumane treatment of children.

As President Biden enters the final year of his term, we are left to wonder if now is the time for his administration to finally pivot and get serious about securing the border and ending human trafficking. 

Chad Wolf is the former Acting Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security and Executive Director and Chair of the Center for Homeland Security & Immigration at the America First Policy Institute.

Robert Law is the Director of the Center for Homeland Security & Immigration at the America First Policy Institute and the former Chief of the Office of Policy & Strategy at U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during the Trump Administration.

The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of the Daily Caller News Foundation.

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