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Tipsheet

Biden Admin Was Warned About Increase in Migrant Child Labor — They Did Little to Stop It

Townhall Media/Julio Rosas

Cases of unaccompanied children who illegally crossed the U.S.-Mexico border and are now working in demanding jobs are on the rise, according the New York Times, with the Biden administration being warned about the rise and they did little to take action.

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The Times reported multiple people who worked for and with the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) by helping place children with sponsors in the United States and raised the alarm about the lack of vetting being done on the sponsors were fired.

One case involves Linda Brandmiller, who worked at the shelter for minors in San Antonio in 2021, and when she sent multiple emails about two cases where the sponsors for young boys did not seem to be legitimate:

But within days, she noticed that one of the children was set to be released to the man in Florida. She wrote another email, this time asking for a supervisor’s 'immediate attention' and adding that the government had already sent a 14-year-old boy to the same sponsor.

Ms. Brandmiller also emailed the shelter’s manager. A few days later, her building access was revoked during her lunch break. She said she was never told why she had been fired.   

The reason for the relaxed vetting of sponsors stemmed from the Biden administration's wishes to empty the shelters that were filled with children.

At HHS, at least five employees who raised the alarm about the federal government placing children in potentially dangerous situations say they were pushed out of their jobs:

[Jallyn Sualog] warned her bosses in a 2021 email, 'If nothing continues to be done, there will be a catastrophic event.' She continued to email about situations she described as 'critical' and 'putting children at risk.' Concerned that no one was listening, Ms. Sualog filed a complaint in the fall of 2021 with the H.H.S. Office of Inspector General, the agency’s internal watchdog, and requested whistle-blower protection...In late 2021, she was moved out of her position.

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The Times also showed on a graph that calls to HHS about migrant child labor and exploitation had dramatically increased since Joe Biden entered office. HHS has lost track of over 40,000 children after placing them with sponsors. 

The increase in unaccompanied minors coming to the U.S.-Mexico border came after the Biden administration assured parents in Latin America unaccompanied children would not be returned to their country of origin if they showed up to the America's southern border. In the time since Biden has been in office, hundreds of thousands of minors were sent alone by their parents to the United States.

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