Exploitation of Migrant Children Is So Rampant, Even the New York Times Can’t Ignore It
Oliver Twist and Hard Times are no longer novels that just give us a glimpse of the grimness of life for many children in mid-19th century England. Sadly, they are a snapshot of contemporary life for many children in Joe Biden’s borderless America in the 21st century.
In a series of articles, the uber-open borders New York Times documents the growing scourge of exploitative child labor that should shock the consciences of contemporary American society, much as Charles Dickens meant to shame the political and social elite of Victorian England. For the most part, these children are the unaccompanied children (UACs) who have been entering the country in unprecedented numbers since President Biden took office. In the administration’s haste to release these kids from protective custody, they have handed many of them over to “sponsors” who often turn out to be operatives or clients of the criminal cartels that brought them here.
“Migrant children, who have been coming into the United States without their parents in record numbers, are ending up in some of the most punishing jobs in the country. This shadow work force extends across industries in every state, flouting child labor laws that have been in place for nearly a century,” writes Hannah Dreier. Even children who arrive with their parents are often subject to exploitation, as they are pressed into dangerous and physically demanding labor to help the family pay down their debts to the cartels. And the kids who wind up working in slaughterhouses in President Biden’s home state of Delaware may be the lucky ones. Countless others meet more horrific fates at the hands of sex traffickers.
Hundreds of U.S. companies – including well-known names like General Mills, Frito-Lay and Fruit of the Loom – have been found to be employing underage migrants. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) reports that some 4,000 kids were discovered to be working in violation of federal labor laws (never mind U.S. immigration laws) last year. We can be certain that there were many more such violations that went unreported.
While the Biden administration and the phalanx of well-funded NGOs piously pretend that their open borders policies are humane, the Times documented evidence that the quick release of UACs into the United States is a consideration that outweighs all others. In a video of a meeting with staff at the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), the agency that takes custody of UACs after they enter the country, Secretary Xavier Becerra compared the process to an assembly line. “If Henry Ford had seen this in his plants, he would have never become famous and rich,” Becerra said. And clearly, the secretary was not pleased with the performance of HHS’s assembly line. “This is not the way you do an assembly line,” he complained.
Becerra’s remark was so callous that even the White House felt the need to walk it back. Asked about the secretary’s recorded comments (and not even by a Fox News reporter) at a White House press briefing, Press Secretary Karine Jean-Pierre tried to explain that, of course, Becerra didn’t really mean what he said and, of course, President Biden does not concur that the handling of UACs should be treated like an assembly line – even though that is exactly what his administration has been doing for the past two years.
An obviously embarrassed administration also announced a joint effort by DOL and HHS to crack down on unscrupulous employers who are exploiting UACs, which they absolutely should. But even as Jean-Pierre was talking about how unacceptable child labor and other forms of exploitation are, she never once acknowledged the administration’s role in creating the circumstances that have allowed such practices to flourish in modern-day America. Nor did she indicate that the administration has any plans to reverse those policies. Instead, she used the opportunity to point a finger at Congress for failing to provide the administration the resources it needs to process, release and keep track of all the UACs (and other migrants) it is encouraging to come here.
Many high schools have phased out Dickens from their literature curricula in favor of a more “diverse” reading list. Perhaps it’s just as well. American students can now just pick up the New York Times if they want to read about the horrors of child labor.