A former volunteer with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has denounced in an interview with Project Veritas how the Unaccompanied Alien Children Program (UAC) " imports teenagers -under 18 years of age- from poor countries in Latin America to make them available to "sponsors" who, in turn, "sponsor" them, and later exploit them for labor and in some cases sexually."
The UAC allows entry into the country for immigrant minors. The process consists of turning adolescents and children over to HHS. It then quickly transfers them to sponsors, "many of whom are illegals who previously paid coyotes and cartels to bring the youth to the border."
Sponsors are individuals chosen by HHS and are responsible for hosting the children. Under federal law, minors have the right to enroll in public schools in their communities and benefit from educational services, just like other Americans.
"Putting children in the hands of criminals."
Tara Lee Rodas - the whistleblower - was a volunteer for HHS in Pomona, California. She confessed that the Biden Administration "has greatly relaxed strict vetting of who the sponsors are" and that so many children are now arriving at the border that "speed over security" is being prioritized:
Right now, it's speed over safety: they take children to sponsors in 10-15 days. We are paying to put children in the hands of criminals. Our sponsors are generally not citizens, they are not permanent residents, they have no legal presence.
HHS's due process also gives sponsors "immense control" over minors, which can make them feel threatened. According to Rhodes:
We send that child directly to the sponsor. This one then has the ability to traffic that child until they catch him, if they ever do, and God forbid, it may even be for sex trafficking.... Once the children leave with the sponsor, there is nothing we can do about it.
The sponsor can show a draft of the child's deportation order and say, 'This is your deportation order. If you don't do what I say, when I say it, I'm going to call ICE myself.'
Breitbart News noted that "the rush by current officials to transfer border children to their sponsors comes after Democrats criticized former President Trump's "immigration agents" for preferring to leave minors in shelters.
"Government-assisted" labor and sex trafficking
"The Biden Administration denies the consequences of its policies and, instead, acts as if this is simply a benign family reunification or child protection program. In fact, they are encouraging and enabling the trafficking of children," said Jessica Vaughan, director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies.
Among many testimonies, a Veritas journalist spoke with a minor immigrant, who revealed that she had been sexually abused by her sponsor:
"An aunt sponsored me, but she kicked me out of her house. I was prostituting myself and I didn't like that. I prostituted myself to men.
Lee Rodas also exposed the program's labor trafficking. The children - instead of attending school - are taken to different states to work in restaurants and factories. This way, they can pay off their debts to the cartels and coyotes that helped them in their relocation. In mid-November, the Department of Labor acknowledged that some teenagers are coming to the country to work "in hazardous occupations."
An investigation found that at Packer Sanitation Services Inc. at least 31 foreign-born children between 13 and 17 years of age had been employed in hazardous occupations. The work performed included cleaning hazardous motorized equipment during night shifts to comply with sanitation contracts in slaughterhouses.
"Honestly, I think almost everyone in the system knows that most immigrant teens come to work and send money home," commented Maria Woltjen, executive director and founder of the Young Center for Immigrant Children's Rights.
Breitbart News denounces that "child trafficking is aided by Biden's border chief, Alejandro Mayorkas, who "is using his legal authority, budget, and diplomatic power to gain control of the cartels' immigration business."
Also, they charge that Mayorkas has been "re-importing" immigrants who were deported by judges during the Trump Administration. And they point to the "little effort" Republicans have made "to investigate UAC labor trafficking or to embarrass Democrats for their endorsement of labor trafficking and child prostitution."
Meanwhile, "progressives applaud the program that has allowed 290,000 children and teenagers to enter the country since January 2021." "Most of whom arrive ready to work."