A former Health and Human Services whistleblower has testified to congress about the US government’s role in child trafficking.
Tara Lee Rodas detailed how officials reportedly ignored signs of “explosive” growth in the child labor force across ports in the US indicating children being forced into the labor force to pay back their smuggling costs. Rodas also spoke of how she saw children becoming captives to their “sponsors” as they were unable to seek help in English or Spanish and sponsors using multiple addresses to obtain sponsorships of kids.
She does not see it as a political issue, but rather a humanitarian one that has been ongoing for nearly 10 years. Republicans have blamed the current crisis on the Biden administration’s policies which they say have encouraged illegal migration and parents to put their children into the hands of smugglers while democrats have noted that the issue predates Biden’s administration.
Meanwhile, Health and Humans Services secretary Xavier Becerra has said the agency is currently unable to contact 85 thousand minors. Domestic policy adviser Susan Rice who left her role this week said that her team was shown evidence of a growing migrant child labor crisis, but they were never informed of any systematic problem.