Biden Administration on Human Trafficking: Eyes Wide Shut
Last year, Cardell Morant, director of the federal government’s Center for Countering Human Trafficking marked “World Day Against Trafficking in Persons” by touting his agency’s “significant” efforts, “including investigations and enforcement; intelligence; victim protection, assistance, identification, and screening; and training, outreach and engagement.”
Last week, hoping to tap some of that expertise, Sen. John Kennedy, R-La., asked Morant a larger question at a Senate Judiciary Committee hearing: “Since President Biden’s been president, how many non-American citizens have come into our country illegally or on the basis of a claim of asylum?”
Passionless now and apparently clueless, the somewhat less engaged Mr. Morant testified under oath that he didn’t know and wouldn’t hazard an estimate.
Even if the broad universe of illegal aliens is beyond the scope of Morant’s job duties, a high-level official at the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) might reasonably be expected to have some grasp of data in the public domain. Earlier this month, the House Homeland Security Committee published a detailed report examining how traffickers exploit migrants, including children, for free sex and cheap labor.
Whether it’s stonewalling or willful ignorance, non-responsive responses are standard practice of administration officials on Capitol Hill, up to and including DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas. The ploy worked for his subordinate last week, as Morant’s dodge was not reported – much less questioned – by the press. Nothing to see here.
Still, the record volume of illegal entries into this country and the attendant scourge of human trafficking cannot be denied. Sen. Kennedy, during his exchange with Morant (beginning at 1:03:22 in the committee video), pegged the figure at 8 million. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) puts it at more than 7.5 million, plus at least 1.7 million gotaways at the border.
In Morant’s wheelhouse, historically high numbers of unaccompanied alien children (UACs) continue to cross the southern border – more than 400,000 so far, versus 221,000 during the four years of the Trump administration.
“A flood of UACs into the country combined with a lack of DNA testing (which DHS halted) and rushed release creates a perfect storm for smugglers and traffickers,” FAIR noted this month.
To borrow Mr. Morant’s word, that’s “significant.” Clearly, platitudes aren’t getting the job done.