Speaking Thursday afternoon at a House Judiciary Immigration & Citizenship Subcommittee hearing vis-à-vis the southern border crisis, Acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan laid out a series of staggering details about the child recycling operations being perpetrated by human smugglers.
During one especially troubling portion of McAleenan’s testimony, Rep. Jody Hice, a Republican, asked him point-blank how much it costs for an illegal alien to rent a child.
“It depends,” he replied. “We’ve had indications in Homeland Security investigation efforts and Border Patrol agents doing good intelligence interviews that it could cost anywhere from a few hundred or even in some cases less than a hundred dollars, up to a thousand or more.”
These recycling operations were unveiled by then-Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen back in March.
“We have encountered recycling rings, where innocent young people are used multiple times to help aliens gain illegal entry,” she’d said during a House Homeland Security Committee hearing at the time.
Dovetailing back to Thursday’s hearing, Hice then asked McAleenan to outline how exactly the recycling operations work from beginning to end.
“In many of these communities in Central America, it’s pretty known who the coyote is — who the alien smuggler who’s willing to bring you to the United States is in those communities,” the acting Homeland Security secretary replied.
“They’ll have a situation where everybody knows that if you bring a child, they’ll be allowed to stay in the U.S. … If they have an individual who wants to go to the U.S. and somebody has a child that they might want to make some additional money renting that child, or they want the child to be delivered to a relative in the U.S., they’ll say ‘hey, take my child,’ they’ll go procure a fraudulent document and then they’re smuggled to the U.S. border.”
This happens all the time, by the way.
DHS Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen reports that traffickers have ‘child recycling’ rings: “where smugglers kidnap a child, they give it to an adult to cross the border, present themselves as a family and then send the child back and bring the child back with…another fake family” pic.twitter.com/EzCq78to03
— Ryan Saavedra (@RealSaavedra) April 3, 2019
Hice then asked McAleenan whether the cartels get all the profit.
“They’re getting paid for the fraudulent document, they’re getting paid for the smuggling event and the child’s being put at risk,” he replied.
When then asked how many kids are being recycled, the secretary said that 5,500 cases of fraud have been identified within the past eight weeks alone.
“We’ve identified about 5,500 cases of fraud and family units just the eight weeks that we’ve had special agents helping our patrol agents with these investigations,” he said. “Fifteen percent of those they’ve interviewed have turned out to be fraudulent cases. That tells me that we might be scratching the surface of this problem, and the number of children being put at risk might be even higher.”
“Of the first 2,475 family units they’ve interviewed, 352 were fraudulent. 14.2 percent. 921 fraudulent documents have been discovered, and we’ve prosecuted 615 individuals for basically trafficking or smuggling a child with fraudulent documents. And that’s just in the past eight weeks.”
What remains unclear is whether any Democrat at Thursday’s hearing showed as much interest in these horrifying details as Hice and his Republican peers did.
So far, Democrats have only shown interest in using false testimonials to smear U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement and U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials as “concentration camp” guards, “Nazis,” etc.
Meanwhile, Democrats have shown virtually no interest in holding a spotlight to the actual evil — all of it motivated by the pursuit of money — being perpetrated by smugglers and their cartel bosses. If anything, the Democrats’ behavior has suggested they support the smugglers, or so House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy claimed last month.
He made the remarks during negotiations over an emergency spending bill.
“I’m not sure anybody’s read the bill,” he said in a floor speech at the time. “I’m not sure even those on the other side know what’s in it. Here’s how it’s worse — [it says the] Departments of Homeland Security and Health and Human Services [HHS] cannot share information about the sponsors of [Unaccompanied Alien] children [UAC].”
“Think about that for one moment. They’re making sure two departments cannot share information in their own government. This [sharing] is necessary to ensure children are not placed with human traffickers or other predators. Maybe if you had a little time, maybe if you didn’t care about politics, you’d allow a little sharing of information for the children.”
It was likewise because of the Democrats that these child recycling operations exist in the first place.
Earlier this year they snuck a series of disastrous provisions into an omnibus spending bill. Section 224(a) of that bill specifically said that none of the money allocated to DHS could be used to detain or deport “a sponsor, potential sponsor, or member of a household of a sponsor or potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien child.”
In other words, any migrant who crossed the border illegally with a child in stow couldn’t be touched by DHS and its sub-agencies anymore, including ICE and CBP.
Poison pill. 👇🏻 pic.twitter.com/unUU6X6YAJ
— Dan Bongino (@dbongino) February 15, 2019
This “deal” provides de facto amnesty for anyone claiming to be even in the household of a potential sponsor of an unaccompanied alien minor AND is thus the “Child Trafficking Promotion Act” cc: @realDonaldTrump
— Chip Roy (@chiproytx) February 14, 2019
This bill is tantamount to an illegal immigration “stimulus” — de facto amnesty to any “sponsor,” family member or “potential sponsor” of an unaccompanied minor. #ChainMigrationAmnesty
— Laura Ingraham (@IngrahamAngle) February 14, 2019
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