It took 5 1/2 years, but we’ve finally found a law President Obama is willing to enforce as written. It’s the William Wilberforce Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act of 2008, which passed unanimously in both houses of Congress when they were controlled by Democrats and signed by a Republican president, and was meant to protect victims of child sex trafficking. But the intent behind the law isn’t what the president is following; it’s the letter. Seems he’s put his magical pen and phone away for the time being.
The New York Times describes it this way, “Originally pushed by a bipartisan coalition of lawmakers as well as by evangelical groups to combat sex trafficking, the bill gave substantial new protections to children entering the country alone who were not from Mexico or Canada by prohibiting them from being quickly sent back to their country of origin.” The spirit of the law was reasonable – if children, alone, were found in the United States, it made humanitarian sense to ensure they weren’t smuggled in as part of a child sex ring and that simply sending them back wouldn’t put them back in the arms of monsters.
But the intent of the law is being bastardized to advance the agenda of amnesty.
The children the law intended to protect – potential victims of perverted sex traffickers – are not who is flooding the border now, and the administration knows it. Still, it is using its provisions to slow the process and keep illegal aliens on U.S. soil.
The law requires these children be given an opportunity to appear at an immigration hearing and consult with an advocate, and it recommended they have access to counsel. It also required they be turned over to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, and the agency was directed to place the minor “in the least restrictive setting that is in the best interest of the child” and to explore reuniting those children with family members. But with tens of thousands clogging the system, it is overwhelmed.
This has the White House claiming its hands are tied; it must follow the law.
Yet, the author of the law, Sen. Diane Feinstein, D-Calif., told the Times, “That law already provides the administration with flexibility to accelerate the judicial process in times of crisis. The administration should use that flexibility to speed up the system while still treating these children humanely, with compassion and respect.”
The administration does not appear interested in doing that.