Liberal activists have for months called to abolish institutions such as Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). This hysteria mainly originates from their regulation and deportation of illegal immigrants at our border or within the United States. A number of 2020 presidential candidates have called for ICE and CBP to be completely restructured, but have not specifically explained how they would do so. However, with growing numbers of illegal immigrants claiming asylum at the border between Mexico and the United States, human trafficking is one issue that has been completely ignored when discussing what CBP and ICE can do to protect U.S. citizens.
The Department of Homeland Security and CBP have growing concerns about the number of fake families trying to gain access into the U.S. due to the possibility of the children being victims of human trafficking or human smuggling. With the surge in asylum-claiming families traveling to the border from Central America there has also been growing numbers of fake “families” reported by former Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen. Secretary Nielsen also told of migrants who used other people’s children in order to pass through CBP custody at a faster rate.
In fact, during March 2019, the U.S. experienced the highest influx of migrants showing up at the border by far. By May, there had been more than 1,000 families that were identified to be fraudulent in that month due to DNA testing that CBP authorities use to identify migrants claiming asylum at a port of entry.
Cases of children being recycled at the border have long been ignored. A Guatemalan woman living illegally in Southern Carolina was exposed by Border Patrol to be “recycling” illegal immigrant children to help migrant adults cross the U.S. border. She profited off renting them at $1,500 per child, and succeeded in doing so 13 times until she was caught.
According to anti-human trafficking advocates like Polaris Project, 2,552 cases of human trafficking across the United States-Mexico border were reported in 2018, with a majority of trafficking cases occurring in the states of California and Texas. With 500 known cases of sex trafficking and more than 600 known cases of labor trafficking, there should be a call for more regulation at the border and within the country to fully ensure that no one is exploited.
If institutions like ICE or CBP did not enforce the law, it would be impossible to identify who is trying to seek asylum at the border and who is deliberately abusing the immigration system to exploit innocent people.
CBP explains its approach to human trafficking cases in the State Department’s Human Trafficking Report of 2019: “Prevention, Protection and Persecution.” Both ICE and CBP explain what human trafficking/smuggling is and how to identify characteristics that reveal someone is being trafficked. Their personnel apply this daily in their work, and to abolish or change these institutions could be incredibly dangerous for those vulnerable to human trafficking.
The Human Trafficking Report in 2019 stated that the United States suffered from “a lack of sustained effort to address labor trafficking and to strengthen oversight of employment-based and other nonimmigrant visa programs.” The report recommends that law enforcement officials should increase prevention efforts, such as outreach and intervention efforts, to ensure that those being trafficked or smuggled can be protected.
Amidst the rise in migrants that congest the immigration processing system at the border and with the dissatisfaction of the border and deportations from activists, there is a sheer ignorance about the growing issue of fraudulent families and human trafficking. The Department of Homeland Security, overseeing ICE and CBP, cannot protect and ensure the safety of smuggled or trafficked people if there are activists preventing authorities from doing their job.