Unaccompanied Minors Became Victims of Child Sex Abuse After Feds Lowered Safety Standards
by Blake Farenthold on January 30, 2016 at 10:22 AM
An Associated Press investigation revealed that unaccompanied minors who crossed the border alone into the U.S. became victims of sexual abuse, are being forced to work with little or no pay, and are being denied food and education.
While it may be easy to chalk this up to another failure by the Obama administration, what makes this failure so disturbing is the young victims these lax policies created. As a parent, seeing these children exploited is horrifying. The President needs to put his political open borders agenda aside and see how his policies are hurting people, especially children.
According to the investigation, the Department of Health and Human Services “lowered its safety standards during border surges in the last three years to swiftly move children out of government shelters and into sponsors' homes.” The current administration stopped doing fingerprint checks on most adults seeking to claim children, stopped requiring original birth certificates to prove sponsors’ identities, stopped requiring forms that include sponsors’ personal and identifying information before sending children to the homes, and then eliminated criminal history checks for most sponsors.
More than 89,000 children have been placed with sponsors since October 2013, according to the investigation, and social workers were unable to find many of them for a follow up visit after the sponsors took the children.
According to the House Judiciary Committee, of the 345 family units apprehended at the border between July 7, 2015, and September 30, 2015, nearly 70 percent told Customs and Border Protection agents they heard if they came to the U.S. they would be released and receive some sort of immigration relief, such as asylum. Sixty percent said that is why they chose to cross the border.
Due to the President’s failure to address this issue, other members of Congress and I are supporting passage of several pieces of legislation to combat this problem, including:
- H.R. 1149, Protections of Children Act, which ensures that unaccompanied alien minors who make the dangerous journey to the United States are safely returned home and give greater transparency into the sponsors who are housing children pending immigration hearings.
- H.R. 3011, Kate’s Law, which would create a five-year mandatory minimum sentence for any illegal alien reentering the country after being deported.
- H.R. 3009, Enforce the Law for Sanctuary Cities, restricts federal funding to sanctuary cities so that the American people are not subsidizing local law enforcement agencies that refuse to comply with federal law.
- H.R. 399, Secure Our Borders First Act, requires that the Secretary of Homeland Security gain, and maintain, operational control of the international borders of the United States.