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March 3, 2023

Team Biden Exploits Migrant Children

A New York Times investigation of migrant child labor places the blame everywhere but where it belongs.

The Biden administration is investigating the Biden administration for child exploitation. That’s dark humor, and it’s not exactly true, though the White House says it’s on the case. What we really need is the truth and policy changes.

New York Times reporter Hannah Dreier helped crack the case of exploited migrant children working “brutal jobs across the U.S.” She “traveled to Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Minnesota, South Dakota and Virginia for this story and spoke to more than 100 migrant child workers in 20 states.”

What she found sounds truly awful. Companies are violating child labor laws by putting migrant kids to work in factories, where young teens process and pack anything from Cheetos and Cheerios to Fruit of the Loom apparel. Other businesses employ 12- to 15-year-olds in construction, landscaping, restaurant kitchens, slaughterhouses, hotel housekeeping, and dozens of other sometimes dangerous occupations. These minors often present false identification in order to get jobs, and they often end up working long and even overnight hours. They’re either struggling to keep up in school or not attending at all.

“These workers are part of a new economy of exploitation,” Dreier says. “Migrant children, who have been coming into the United States without their parents in record numbers, are ending up in some of the most punishing jobs in the country.” Record numbers indeed. Last year, it was 130,000, which is three times the number during Donald Trump’s administration. Since Joe Biden took office and flung open wide our southern border, more than 250,000 unaccompanied minors (most often teens) have illegally crossed the border — that we know of.

The problem began during Barack Obama’s presidency, when he eased border regulations and enforcement. The message was clearly received south of the border, and parents began sending their teenage kids to America for economic reasons.

“These are not children who have stolen into the country undetected,” the Times report says. “The federal government knows they are in the United States, and the Department of Health and Human Services is responsible for ensuring sponsors will support them and protect them from trafficking or exploitation.”

Translation: The U.S. government has failed.

Remember when the media raged about cages? Trump, the Bad Orange Man, was rounding up migrant children, separating them from their parents, and putting them in “cages,” the scribes hysterically reported. They didn’t tell you that Obama built the “cages,” which were simply chain-link enclosures for holding illegal border crossers for processing. They didn’t tell you that Trump had to clean up a border mess that Obama created.

Perhaps the Times’s exposé will whip up a similar frenzy about child labor, albeit while distancing today’s Democrat administration from any responsibility.

If so, that frenzy will be short-lived, as Team Biden is already swooping in to play the hero. “The Department of Homeland Security has widened its investigation,” NBC reports, “working with the Justice Department” to figure out how this exploitation could possibly happen in America.

Joe Biden’s intentionally opened border, that’s how.

Biden’s dereliction on the border isn’t the only factor in this exploitation of children, but it’s a huge one. Yet Dreier uses the word “Biden” only to explain that he’s not to blame for the “shifting dynamics in Central America” that caused this crisis, and that he’s doing everything he can to fix things.

What’s the Spanish word for “BS”?

The word “illegally” shows up exactly one time in the Times article, and it’s in a paragraph about companies and sponsors “putting children to work illegally.” How on earth can a supposed journalist write 5,200 words about a crisis caused by illegal immigration and not once use the word “illegal” to describe it?

Speaking of work, there’s another factor only mentioned in passing by the Times. Teenagers working jobs is still normal in the nations they come from, and, indeed, much of the rest of the world. It used to be normal here too.

This is not to say young people ought to be working dangerous jobs with little or no oversight in long and overnight shifts, or that their education should suffer so adults in other countries can benefit from their wages.

Yet in America today, we price young people out of the jobs market with a too-high minimum wage. We essentially tell them they shouldn’t have to work because it might cut into their video game or social media time. And then we keep them on their parents’ health insurance until age 26 and confiscate taxpayer money to pay off their student loans. We treat work as a plague rather than something that gives dignity to the worker, even if the job is dangerous or dirty.

The migrant children coming across the border at least place value in hard work and learning responsibility. That is not to diminish or ignore the fact that they are being exploited by smugglers and other adults in their lives — including by the Biden administration that rolled out the welcome mat for them to make the dangerous journey to America in the first place, all so Democrats could reap political gain from massively increased immigration.

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