HHS didn’t check homes before giving migrant kids to traffickers
Health and Human Services delivered over at least six migrant children from Guatemala into the hands of human traffickers without visiting the homes where they would live or verifying any family connection to them, a Senate committee has found.
Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, a leading crusader fighting to crack down on the trafficking of children in the United States, said the Ohio case is just one of many examples of HHS’s systemic lapses in the way it handles the placement of migrant children out of U.S. detention centers for illegal immigrants.
The findings derived from a case in Marion, Ohio in which six defendants allegedly lured child victims to the United States with the promise of schooling and a better life and instead enslaved them on an egg farm and forced them to work 12 hours a day in squalid conditions with no pay.
“It is intolerable that human trafficking — modern-day slavery — could occur in our own backyard,” Portman said at the beginning of a Senate hearing Thursday. “But what makes the Marion case even more alarming is that a U.S. government agency was responsible for delivering some of the victims into the hands of their abusers.”
“How can this happen in America?” Portman asked.
Yeah, that’s right. How could it happen that I ordered an extra large with anchovies and they bring me a pizza with dead fish on it? Likewise, how could it happen that we import people partially for the purposes of quasi-slave labor and they wind up being slaves?