HHS Whistleblower says U.S. government is the middleman in child trafficking operations.
Tara Lee Rodas, HHS whistleblower, opening statement on the child migrant crisis to the House Judiciary Committee.
Tara Lee Rodas spoke to the House Judiciary Committee in April 2023 about finding and safeguarding migrant children. More than 85,000 migrant children are missing today and no one knows where they are. No one is tracking them.
Ms. Rodas said that she had no idea that so many children are being trafficked until she went to work for the Biden administration and that what she learned changed her life forever.
She says that children are being being sold for sex and forced to work night shifts at slaughter houses, factories, and restaurants to pay their debts to smugglers and traffickers.
Ms. Rodas says that when she first went to the border that she thought she was going to help children by placing them in loving homes, but instead, she discovered that “children are being trafficked through a sophisticated network that begins with recruiting in “home country”, smuggling to the U.S border, and ends when Orr delivers a child to a sponsor. “Some sponsors,” she says, “are criminals, traffickers, and members of transnational criminal organizations. Some sponsors view children as commodities and assets to be used for earning income. This is why we are witnessing an explosion of labor trafficking. Now, whether it’s intentional or not, it could be argued that the United States government has become the middleman in a large scale, multi-billion dollar child trafficking operation that is run by bad actors seeking to profit off of the lives of children”.
She goes on to say, “As for me, my interest is the safety of the children. I do not view this as a political issue. I view this as a humanitarian issue. I assure you my motives are the highest and best I want the children protected so I want to tell you some of what I witnessed personally at the Pomona Fairplex. I saw vulnerable indigenous children from Guatemala who speak Mayan dialects and cannot speak Spanish. That means they cannot ask for help in English. They cannot ask for help in Spanish. They become captives of their sponsors. I have sat with case managers as they’ve cried to tell me the horror of what has happened to children as they make the journey to this country. I saw apartment buildings where 20, 30, and 40 unaccompanied minors have been released. I saw sponsors trying to simultaneously sponsor children from multiple Orr sites. At one time, I saw sponsors using multiple addresses to obtain sponsorships of children, and I saw numerous cases of children in debt bondage, and the child knew they had to stay with the sponsor until the debt was paid. Realizing that we were not offering the children the American dream, but instead, putting them in modern day slavery with wicked overlords was a terrible revelation. A terrible Revelation. These children are a captive victim population with no access to law enforcement, or knowledge of their rights. They are extorted, abused, neglected, and that is why I blew the whistle in 2021. I witnessed firsthand the horrors of child trafficking and exploitation. My life will never be the same after what I saw but I have hope because I’m counting on you. It’s my hope that you’ll take action to end this crisis, to safeguard the lives of most of these vulnerable children”.
HHS Whistleblower Claims US Government Is ‘Middleman’ In Child Trafficking Operation Forbes News
Ms Rodas offers solutions:
“People have asked me what can be done? What would you suggest? First, HHS’s number one priority is oversight. They must commit to oversight, transparency, and accountability. If I could wave a magic wand, this I believe could be quickly solved by experts in the IG community. There is a pandemic analytics Center of Excellence, or the PACE as we call it. I believe if data analysts at PACE could look at the data, children could be rescued, criminals could be prosecuted. If PACE had access to this data, it shows where the children are and who has them. I think also we need to change the culture of speed over safety. Speed is the wrong performance measure when dealing with children. We need to revamp the vetting process of sponsors and have case managers who have investigative backgrounds, data analytics backgrounds, some certified fraud examiners, and I think we need to reimagine a system where the sponsor is the accountable. Sponsors should be required to report to Orr. And lastly, stop retaliating against whistleblowers. Stop retaliating against the people who are trying to tell the truth to save the children. As it is written, a wise man listens to a vice while a fool continues in his folly, and HHS needs to be wise to care for these children”.
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More than 300,000 American children go missing every year and no one is tracking them either. It is estimated that more than 20,000 children disappear from the foster care system every year (55 children a day). No one is tracking them.