Child Trafficking?

texas_detention2We have all seen recent images of foreign children in overcrowded detention centers in Texas. These minors from Central America and Mexico entered the U.S. illegally through the US/Mexico border. This trend is taking unprecedented proportions: Border Patrol agents and detention facilities are overwhelmed, children stacked in insalubrious conditions. But they are not kept there for long; these children will be released very quickly provided they attend their court hearing set in the following two weeks. “Absconsion” will probably be the norm. Moreover, once out there, it will be difficult for ICE to find them. They know that, or should I say, the adults “responsible” for them, their parents, relatives, not only know it but are betting on it.

Children are being endangered, used as bait to allow their adult relatives a free pass into the United States. If it’s not by definition child trafficking, it sure resembles it. It is true that child trafficking usually involves child labor (and at times sex work). Here the aim is different. Children are used for immigration and citizenship purposes. They are used nonetheless. Parents might be driven by the desire to secure a better life for their children,  that does not render the fact that they sent their children alone, possible innocent preys to smugglers, criminals or sexual abusers any less reprehensible.

An image keeps popping in my head, one I saw on several occasions in my country of origin, Lebanon. Buses full of children driven to different locations, dropped on the streets. The same buses picked them up at the end of the day. The children spent their days on the roads, begging for change, selling gum or faded roses. Those in charge, the adults who ran this “business”, collected the money raised throughout the day, dividing the profits between themselves and the children’s parents. The local government did nothing – some say could do nothing – to stop this exploitation.

This is not to say that we are witnessing the same horrid acts in the United States today, but similarities can be drawn. Whether for financial gains or access to American soil, children are being used by those who are supposed to protect them the most (again, their intentions might be honorable but their actions aren’t). Children are also let down by the system that stands watching, helpless at best.

It’s funny, or rather sad, how the Obama administration is dealing with this flow of unaccompanied minors in Texas. If we didn’t know better, we’d think they were orchestrating it. What is certain is that their amnesty promises and their refusal to enforce most immigration laws are inducing this phenomenon.  As if this was not enough, additional measures are being introduced relating to the renewal of the enrollment in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Parents of those minors know very well they will be met with “understanding” (if not open arms) by the current administration. That is why they are sending their children across the Mexican border.

This is perhaps not a case of child trafficking as most people understand it. It is nevertheless, at minimum, a case of exploitation and endangerment from the sending side, and a case of “active complicity” from the receiving side, the current U.S. administration.

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  1. Pingback: Crisis on the Border: Is There an End Game?

  2. avatar

    Many of the Abandonned Kids Will Resort to Prostitution in America to Eat

    Their foreign parents obviously don’t care….these are the kinds of immigrants America needs?

  3. avatar

    This is what you get when you run a country with few rules and regulations. This government is laughable – if it were not so destructive. Both Democrats and Republicans. We don’t vote in many knowledge representatives. We vote in politicians who only know their self-interest and enjoy grabbing the cash that flows so freely thru D>C.
    We ask nothing of Mexico, which could put a stop to this immediately. Do we say to them – this is ‘child trafficking and illegal in our country. You let these children travel through your country at the risk of their lives, some no only lose their limbs, abused and arrive tramiaized.
    No game is over, no more good neighbor policies. The new policy is a parent who allows their children (under age 18-will not be allowed in this country and will be charged with child abandonment – just the same as we do to our citizens who abandon their children. If the child arrives and their parent or immediate relative is in the U.S. illegally-
    they, also will be deported. We will try humanly to deport them together, if possible. If not, we will return them
    seperately and ask that you make certain the child is returned properly to their parent and home.
    We also declare that it is your responsibility to establish laws to protect these people and that and advise them that anyone coming to this country illegally from these Southern Borders will be “personas-non gratis” persons not welcome-and deported immediately!

    • avatar

      Kay were you born i the US? …I doubt it…you are the laughable not the gov……….The People failed.

  4. avatar

    Much high fiveing yesterday about the “good” jobs picture. Except when you read the details.

    50% of the jobs created last month were low wage, like restaurant or clerk jobs.

    We have “gained back” all of the jobs lost during the great recession. Except our population has increased by
    several million since then. We need at least a hundred thousand jobs every month on top of the others just to keep up with increasing population.

    In every recession since the 90s, we have never come all the way back before the next recession starts. The number and quality of jobs don’t make it back to the previous levels.

    All this has occurred during the largest total numbers of immigration in the history of the country. You can insist it’s all a coincidence or you can accept that the law of supply and demand says you do not keep adding workers into an economy that does not need them. Unless you’re big business because they want an never ending supply of cheap workers.

  5. avatar
    Concerned Citizen on

    If an American mother and father gave their minor children to child smugglers, at risk of death by dehydration and a host of other concerns, wouldn’t this be considered a criminal offense? Wouldn’t social services take the children away from the parents?