Listen to House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, and everything is about “the children.”
In her video announcement that she would seek her 18th congressional term, Pelosi made her priorities clear – she’s running to benefit the children. Through the years, Pelosi has reiterated that she’s in Congress to serve the children, the children, the children; “This is my story, and this is my song.” A few years ago, Pelosi appeared on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” show and said that illegal alien children should be treated as if they were “the baby Jesus.” Both sides of the aisle agree that children and other unlawfully present migrants should be treated humanely, but to compare them to Jesus in a shameless attempt to lay the foundation for amnesty is a stretch.
Pelosi’s compassion for children, particularly illegal alien minors, is missing during the record border surge. Data obtained by Axios, a website founded in 2006 by former Politico journalists, showed that the federal government has lost track of one-in-three released minors. Between January and May 2021, phone calls placed to migrant youths or their sponsors were unanswered.
Broken down, here’s a list of calls made and their results. During 2021’s first five months of the year, care providers made 14,600 required calls to check in with migrant minors released from Department of Health and Human Services shelters. These minors typically were taken in by relatives or other vetted sponsors. In 4,890 of those instances, workers were unable to reach either the migrant or the sponsor. The percentage of unsuccessful calls grew, from 26 percent in January to 37 percent in May, the data provided to Axios showed. The truth is that no one knows how rigorous the HHS vetting process is or, more important, what became of those unaccounted-for-minors.
The Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), the agency which first oversees the child’s well-being, evaluates potential sponsors’ ability to provide for the child’s physical and mental safety, and protects children from smugglers, traffickers or others who might seek to victimize or otherwise engage the child in criminal, harmful or exploitative activity.
The process for the safe and timely release of an unaccompanied child from ORR custody includes sponsors’ identity verification, background checks, and occasionally home visits and post-release planning. Sounds good, but if a sponsor can’t be reached, then the most well-intended evaluation process is meaningless.
Again, no one really knows what happens after a child is placed. But a recent exposé proves that at least some minors are placed into forced labor. After her release to her sister in Alabama, Guatemalan Amelia Domingo, age 16, the unsuspecting teen found herself laboring in a chicken processing plant to pay off her $10,000 debt to traffickers. Along with her older sister Rosa, Amelia used false identities and fake birth dates which they obtained from fraudulent documents specialists who prey on young aliens. Although several federal crimes are committed while getting Amelia and her sister hired, Pelosi, the avowed child defender, and Congress are mum.
The Reuters story about Amelia’s chicken plant travails concluded that the feds struggle with long-term follow-up to ensure minors aren’t sucked into a vast network of enablers, including labor contractors, who recruit aliens for big plants and other employers. At times, the news agency concluded, kids have been steered into jobs that are illegal, grueling and meant for adults.
Unaccompanied minors are an intensifying headache for the Biden administration. The Department of Homeland Security anticipates that, every day this year, an average of 441 unaccompanied children will cross the U.S.-Mexico border, and surrender to border patrol custody. In all, during fiscal 2022, between 148,000 and 161,000 unaccompanied minors will enter, their ultimate fates unknown.
Migrant child abuse, criminal employment and trafficking are surmountable immigration problems. Pass mandatory E-Verify to protect U.S. employees, and thwart unscrupulous employers. Tighten asylum guidelines to deter smugglers. In her career that exceeds three decades, the children’s self-appointed patron saint has voted more than 80 times against bills that would protect minors and punish the unprincipled.