With Non-Profit Organizations Like "Operation Underground Rescue" Leading the Way, Is the Biden Administration Doing Enough to End Child Sex Slavery in America?
Article written by Jett James Pruitt
July 30th is World Day Against Trafficking. With millions of people calling for government officials to #RiseUpForChildren, the current presidential administration has been accused of being much more concerned with the atrocities of the past, rather than stopping those who are engaging in slavery in the present.
In fact, the International Labour Organization has calculated the number of modern-day slaves has reach a total of nearly 40.3 million people, yet a large percentage of Americans are only aware of our horrific history of slavery in the past.
Moreover, vocal Conservatives are critical that Biden has done little to address this problem in the United States, and is in fact, enacting policies that are inadvertently inflaming it.
For example, Texas Gov. Greg Abbot released a statement on March 17, 2021 claiming “President Biden’s reckless open border policies have created a humanitarian crisis that is enriching the cartels, smugglers, and human traffickers who often prey on and abuse unaccompanied minors."
Meanwhile, Fox News Anchor Katie Pavlich stated on April 1, 2021 that "the Biden administration is engaging in human trafficking because they are enabling this to happen at the southern border."
Harsh words, indeed. But just how are Biden's immigration policies feeding the pre-existing horror of child trafficking? We'll take a closer look and see.
But first, let's look at the Child Sex Trafficking problem as a whole.
According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, more than 2,000 children are reported missing each day in the United States.
Most victims are abducted by people the child knows, but for the ones who are not, an unspeakable life of hell, or even death, awaits them.
In 2016, former President Barack Obama passionately and accurately summarized the horrors of human sex trafficking when he said, “I’m talking about the injustice — the outrage of human trafficking — which must be called by its true name: modern slavery. It is barbaric and it is evil, and it has no place in a civilized world.”
Yet few Americans are aware of this issue, and even less know how deep the rabbit hole goes.
American children as young as toddlers are being sold abroad as sex slaves. Girls as young as five are working seven days a week in brothels. Pre-teens are being kidnapped and murdered for their organs.
For instance, a ten-year-old boy can be bought in most countries for as little as $10,000, and forced to service five men a day for several years. When his body becomes too damaged, his heart can be sold on the black market in Asia for $250,000 for an organ transplant.
I wish I was describing one of Eli Roth's horror movies, but I am not. In fact, reality can often be much worse than fiction.
"The Green Inferno" (2013)
While older generations have a hard time comprehending — let alone discussing — the subject of child sex trafficking,
The truth is that these monsters are after my generation which means that we must be the ones to lead the fight to end it.
And while human trafficking is indeed illegal in the United States, and the government has been trying to curb the amount of people being unethically exploited for decades, we still face an unprecedented number of innocent lives who have been forced to succumb to the evil abyss that continues to ruin hundreds of thousands of children every year.
Here are the facts:
> According to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, more than 300,000 young people in the United States are considered “at risk” of sexual exploitation every year.
> The U.S. State Department has discovered, of the 600,000 to 800,000 people that are unwillingly trafficked across international borders every year, half are children and 80% are female.
> The U.S. State Department also found that between 14,500 and 17,500 people are trafficked into the United States annually.
> The U.S. Labor Department found that 148 goods that were identified from 75 countries were explicitly produced by forced and child labor.
In fact, exploited children are often kidnapped on American soil, or while a family is on vacation overseas, which is rarely mentioned on the news because America is afraid of staring at this level of evil in the face.
On the other hand, much has been said about the crisis at the southern border, but do we even know how much this crisis is feeding the network of exploited children?
According to the New York Post, a record 18,890 unaccompanied minors have crossed the US-Mexico border illegally in March this year, compared to 9,380 the same time in 2019.
Border control agent Michael Gramley attributes the recent “explosion” to the Biden administration’s decision to cancel Trump’s Migrant Protection Protocols (MPP), which forced those seeking asylum to wait in Mexico while their cases were reviewed.
The Post goes on to interview Homeland Security agent Michael. P. Conlon, who oversees a team that monitors the direct human pipeline from Tenancingo, Mexico, to New York City for the commercial sexual exploitation of women and minors.
“They are held in apartments in Queens against their will and driven from appointment to appointment to have sex with men,” said Conlon. “They see 15, 20 men in an evening and all money is handed over to the trafficker.”
However, President Biden hasn't been completely silent on the issue. But compared with the amount of time the media the has spent on erasing Christopher Columbus, confederate leaders, and past vestiges of slavery, his attention to modern day slavery is abysmal.
Vice President Kamala Harris (L) and President Joe Biden (R)
On June 7th of this year, President Biden announced the formation of a new task force to combat human trafficking called Joint Task Force Alpha, which will pair federal prosecutors from the Justice Department with members of the Department of Homeland Security to prosecute human trafficking networks operating out of El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras and Mexico.
"The Joint Task Force will investigate and prosecute those who are criminally smuggling and trafficking individuals into the United States, with a particular focus on individuals and networks that abuse, exploit, or endanger those being smuggled, pose national security threats, or have links to transnational organized crime,” said U.S. Attorney General, Merrick Garland.
But is that really enough?
Exactly one year ago, Biden released his official statement on what he would do to end child sex trafficking if elected president.
"I stand with survivors and commit that as President, I will build on the work of the Obama-Biden Administration to end human trafficking. I will reassert the leadership role America has played on this issue for more than two decades," said President Joe Biden in his July 30, 2020 statement.
President Biden went on to commit to America that:
"If elected, I will make it a priority to combat this terrible crime, protect those vulnerable to trafficking, and empower survivors to rebuild their lives with safety, dignity, and opportunity. Building on the work of the Obama-Biden administration, I will:
> Expand federal grant programs that support citizen and non-citizen survivors of trafficking.
> Enact immigration policies that protect survivors.
> Improve our ability to identify human trafficking victims at the border.
> Crack down on employers who engage in labor trafficking, including through their overseas supply chains.
> Harness the responsible use of technology to combat trafficking online.
> Improve public awareness efforts to empower individuals and communities with the tools to recognize and report human trafficking.
> Increase the number of federal anti-trafficking task forces, which result in significant increases in arrests, investigations, and prosecutions of human traffickers.
> Expand cooperation with democracies around the world to combat international human trafficking.
> Prevent human trafficking across the globe by promoting human rights, strengthening the rule of law, and advocating for the rights of vulnerable communities in our international engagement."
Yet one year later, we have little to report other than the creation of a task force. We have, however, successfully removed over 100 statues from state and federal locations around the country over the same time period.
Yes, our government is dropping the ball, but the NGO sector is filling the gap. Take for instance, the work of California-based charity, Operation Underground Railroad, or O.U.R.
Founded by Timothy Ballard in 2013, Operation Underground Railroad is comprised of former CIA agents, U.S. Special Operations Forces members, and other support volunteers, who physically rescue innocent children from sex trafficking operations all around the world.
In case that's a hard visual to swallow, let me repeat that:
This organization actually breaks into the homes of child sex traffickers around the world, rescues the children, and then returns them to their families.
But wait, doesn't the FBI do this? No, not across international lines. That is unless Cuba has requested that a healthy and happy boy be returned to his father, of course.
The Rescue of Elian Gonzalez in April 2000
In addition to providing physical rescue services, this organization also helps pay for physical aftercare and mental health therapy.
How did an organization like this even start?
Tim Ballard served 12 years as a U.S. Special Agent for the Department of Homeland Security, on the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the U.S. Child Sex Tourism Jump Team. He helped infiltrate and dismantle dozens of trafficking organizations that kidnapped children and forced them into the sex slave industry. However, as a U.S. agent, Ballard was frustrated that he could not authorize to rescue children if their cases crossed the border, or if the case could not be tried in a U.S. court.
For this reason, he left his position and founded Operation Underground Railroad instead.
O.U.R. Founder, Tim Ballard
In the past seven years, O.U.R. has rescued more than 3,300 victims and assisted in the arrests of more than 1,800 traffickers around the world. In addition, the international law enforcement partners they train and empower have collectively helped rescue the lives of more than 10,000 survivors who were enslaved, exploited, or at risk.
O.U.R. has calculated that it takes $1,200 to liberate one child from the human trafficking ring. For this reason, I am an official member of the O.U.R Abolitionist Club and donate a portion of my book royalties on a monthly basis to this important cause.
You can help answer the prayers of tens of thousands of children who seek to live a promising life by committing yourself to this noble cause.
"Together, we must liberate those who do not have a voice. Failure, in this situation, is simply not an option. It is up to us to create a more thoughtful, caring, and peaceful world for generations to come; to leave behind a society that was greater than the one we inherited." — Jett James Pruitt
For more information about Tim Ballard and his work, please visit:
Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.)
1950 W. Corporate Way
Anaheim, CA 92801
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