A former Health and Human Services (HHS) whistleblower has accused the US federal government of facilitating a “multi-billion-dollar child trafficking operation” at the United States-Mexico border that delivers migrant children to traffickers, abusers, and others looking to exploit them. Tara Lee Rodas, who worked at HHS in 2021 before blowing the whistle on the Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) program, testified yesterday before the House Judiciary Subcommittee Immigration Integrity, Security, and Enforcement that the government was a mere “middleman” in a migrant child trafficking operation that has proven lucrative for the Mexican drug cartels and the sponsors the children end up living with inside the U.S.
According to Rodas, the UAC program, overseen by the Biden administration, releases migrant children to sponsors throughout American communities. Some of these sponsors are criminals, traffickers, and members of transnational criminal organizations. She alleges that some sponsors view children as commodities and assets to be used for earning income, leading to an increase in labor trafficking. Rodas said that she blew the whistle on the sheer number of UACs trafficked and exploited by sponsors with the help of the federal government, but received retaliation when she did so.
Rodas claimed that the federal government had done “everything they could to keep all of this silent,” and that children were a “captive victim population, with no access to law enforcement or knowledge of their rights.” She stated that the children were “extorted, exploited, abused, neglected, and trafficked,” and that she blew the whistle because she realized they were not being offered the American dream, but were being put into modern-day slavery with wicked overlords.
Check out her testimony here.
Child trafficking by Mexican drug cartels is a serious issue at the United States-Mexico border. The cartels often target vulnerable children who are homeless, impoverished, or have been separated from their families, and coerce them into trafficking. Children are frequently smuggled across the border and into the United States, where they are often sold into prostitution, forced labor, and other forms of exploitation.
Trafficked children may be transported to different parts of the country including North Florida to work in industries such as agriculture, hospitality, and domestic service. They may also be forced into prostitution in major cities or smaller towns.
If you suspect that a child is a victim of trafficking, you should call the National Human Trafficking Hotline at 1-888-373-7888. This hotline is available 24/7, and callers can report suspected trafficking, receive referrals to local organizations and services, and receive information and resources about trafficking.
It is also important to report suspected trafficking to local law enforcement agencies or to organizations that provide support to victims of trafficking, such as anti-trafficking nonprofits or social service agencies. Reporting suspected trafficking can help prevent
further exploitation and harm to vulnerable children and restore our country to a moral and righteous nation.