Southern Door Swings Open for Cheap Child Labor



Failing to turn back unaccompanied minors at the border, the Biden administration is enabling an influx of cheap labor into the U.S. More than three-quarters of Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) who recently crossed the southwest border were 15-17 years old, a group ripe for exploitation in the workplace.

The movement of teenage Central American migrants into the semi-hidden, child-labor economy of the U.S. has been documented by ProPublica, a left-leaning news organization.

“Some began to work when they were just 13 or 14, packing the candy you find by the supermarket register, cutting the slabs of raw meat that end up in your freezer and baking, in industrial ovens, the pastries you eat with your coffee,” ProPublica reported.

In Bensenville, Ill., ProPublica interviewed 15 young migrants hired through temporary staffing agencies, with nearly all in situations where federal and state child labor laws would prohibit their employment. One 15-year-old said he owed $3,000 to a human smuggler who guided him across Mexico from Guatemala. To finance the trip, his parents took out a bank loan, using their house as collateral. If he didn’t repay it, the family could lose its home.

Breitbart News likened the northward extraction of underage laborers to a “Hunger Games trail” of loans, coyotes, cartels, rape and cheap-labor exploiters.

“Migrants who survive the obstacle course win the progressives’ prize of release into the United States where they … compete for the jobs and housing needed by lower-skilled, lower-income Americans,” Breitbart’s Neil Munro wrote. With the administration handcuffing U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents, shady child-labor operators figure to have their way.

On cue, an unprecedented 117,000 unaccompanied minors are now expected to arrive in the U.S. this fiscal year. The Washington Examiner suggested the number could be even larger, noting that the Department of Health and Human Services is picking up transportation and resettlement costs for minors while they wait years for their cases to be heard in immigration court.

“Illegal aliens are highly rational thinkers,” Rob Law, of the Center for Immigration Studies, told Breitbart. “When you have open-borders policies [with]a wink and a nod [from Department of Homeland Security officials], you know the United States … is not going to enforce the law against you, rationally, you should come, and that’s exactly what they’re doing.”

About Author

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Bob Dane, the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR)'s Executive Director, has been with FAIR since 2006. His deep belief is that immigration is the most transformational determinant of where we are heading as a nation and that our policies must be reformed in the public interest. Over many years on thousands of radio, TV and print interviews, Bob has made the case that unless immigration is regulated and sensibly reduced, it will be difficult for America to reduce unemployment, increase wages, improve health care and education and heighten national security. Prior to joining FAIR, Bob spent twenty years in network radio, marketing and communications after an earlier career in policy and budgeting within the Reagan Administration. Bob has a degree from George Mason University in Public Administration and Management.