GOP Seeks Testimony From Biden Official Over Exploited Illegal Alien Minors
House Republicans have requested that the director of the Office of Refugee Resettlement appear before the House Judiciary Committee to give testimony regarding illegal alien children and teenagers working in dangerous jobs across the United States.
The request was made on Monday in a letter to Director Robin Marcos, and comes soon after the New York Times published a shocking exposé on the “shadow work force” of illegal alien minors working behind the scenes to produce products for popular companies including Ben & Jerry’s, J. Crew, Cheerio’s and Ford Motor Company — potentially in violation of U.S. child labor laws.
The letter to Marcos was authored by Judiciary Committee chairman Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH), along with Reps. Andy Biggs (R-AZ) and Tom McClintock (R-CA), two of the committee’s top immigration hawks.
“Our oversight includes an examination of the troubling actions by the federal government to diminish safeguards for unaccompanied alien children (UACs) during the worst illegal immigration crisis in our nation’s history,” the letter read.
Since President Joe Biden took office, there has been a surge in illegal immigration — especially the number of unaccompanied children that have crossed the southern border illegally, which has sharply increased according to data from U.S. Customs and Border Protection.
Breitbart News reports: “Border officials have encountered more than 330,000 unaccompanied children and teens at the southern border since January 2021. In the first four months of fiscal year 2023, they encountered nearly 47,000. In contrast, the entirety of fiscal year 2020 saw less than 34,000. The Biden administration is on pace to surpass the average number of encounters during each full fiscal year of the Trump administration by next month.”
Department of Homeland Security officials typically first encounter the illegal alien minors at the border, then proceed to transfer them to the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) — which contains the Office of Refugee Resettlement.
Tara Lee Rodas, a former manager at HHS, stepped forward as a whistleblower to Project Veritas late last year — revealing that minors are essentially being trafficked by HHS.
According to the whistleblower, the Biden administration has “relaxed a lot of the stringent vetting” of sponsors for minors “by creating these additional field guidance [documents] and there’s a focus on ‘move the children’” to the sponsors “as opposed to placing children in safe homes.”
“Right now, it is speed over safety — move the children [to the sponsors in] 10 to 15 days,” Rodas added.
“Our sponsors typically are not citizens, they’re not permanent residents, they don’t have legal presence,” she explained, adding: “We fly that product directly to the trafficker. The trafficker then has the ability to labor traffic that child until they’re caught — if they ever are.”
“Once the children are gone to the sponsor, there’s nothing we can do about it,” Rodas continued.
In their letter to the director at the Office of Refugee Resettlement, Republicans cited an “alarming change” at DHS and HHS — arguing that it has enabled the exploitation of minors in the ways described in the New York Times report.
The change they cited came from a 2021 Memorandum of Agreement between DHS and HHS, removing the requirement that HHS must provide “biographic and biometric data for all adult members of a sponsor’s household in order to check the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s national and statewide criminal history, child abuse and neglect, and sex offender databases prior to placement of a UAC” with that sponsor.
The removal of this requirement coincides with comments made to the New York Times by HHS staff revealing that HHS Secretary Xavier Becerra has been urging his employees to rush minors through the department and into the custody of an adult sponsor — which may be part of an effort to manage the capacity at HHS as illegal aliens continue to flood across the southern border.
“If Henry Ford had seen this in his plants, he would have never become famous and rich. This is not the way you do an assembly line,” Becerra said in a video leaked to the New York Times.
In their letter, the House Judiciary Committee Republicans wrote: “The failure of this administration to adequately screen sponsors of UACs and monitor them after placement has resulted in UACs being exploited and working in extremely dangerous jobs children are legally prohibited from doing.”
The Republican lawmakers went on to request that Marcos contact the Judiciary Committee within the next two weeks to schedule a transcribed interview.