The Obama Administration’s Human Trafficking

Arnold Ahlert is a former NY Post op-ed columnist currently contributing to JewishWorldReview.com, HumanEvents.com and CanadaFreePress.com. He may be reached at atahlert@comcast.net.


Murrieta-Patrice-LynesFor all intents and purposes, the Obama administration is engaged in human trafficking.

At a Senate hearing Wednesday, Health and Human Services Acting Assistant Secretary for the Administration for Children and Families Mark Greenberg admitted that, even if the Obama administration knew it was releasing Unaccompanied Alien Children (UACs) to other illegal aliens, they would do so based on the “totality of the circumstances” that apparently justifies such irresponsibility. However, when pressed by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK), Greenburg made it clear the Obama administration doesn’t even want to know to whom they are releasing the children, disclosing the reality that HHS does “not verify the immigration status of the individual.”

Pressed further by Coburn, who wanted to know if HHS thinks it would be less likely for illegal alien parents to bring their children back to deportation hearings, Greenburg dug himself a deeper hole. “This is about who the child should live with while they’re awaiting the removal proceedings and during the removal proceedings,” he insisted. Coburn wanted to know if the refusal to inquire about the status of family members taking custody of illegal immigrant children was HHS policy.  “Yes, that is the case,” Greenburg replied.

National Review’s Victor Davis Hanson emphasizes the utter lawlessness of such a policy. “Here in the U.S., how can our government simply choose not to enforce existing laws?” he wonders. Hanson then eviscerates the administration’s “Catch and Release” policy. “How can American immigration authorities simply send immigrant kids all over the United States and drop them into communities without firm guarantees of waiting sponsors or family? If private charities did that, would the operators be jailed? Would American parents be arrested for putting their unescorted kids on buses headed out of state?”

Hanson further notes the Mexican government is abetting the human trafficking. Despite having some of the “harshest” immigration laws in the world, where those illegally crossing the Mexican border are either summarily deported or jailed, there are “tens of thousands of Central American children crossing with impunity hundreds of miles of Mexican territory, often sitting atop Mexican trains,” he writes.

The network of Mexican freight trains to which Hanson refers are so well known that they have a name: Tren de la Muerte,” or “Death Train.” That appellation refers to the reality that children must hop aboard the trains while they are moving, and those that don’t make it are often severely injured. “The couplings between the cars are notoriously dangerous. I see children who have lost an arm and a leg or both legs,” said Erica Dahl-Bredine, an El Salvador representative for Catholic Relief Services. An aid group in Honduras confirms that assessment, tallying more than 450 illegals who have been mutilated.

And it’s not as if the Mexican government is unaware of the situation. The trains, also known as La Bestias, aka The Beasts, are a regular feature on the evening news in Mexico. They regularly depart from a depot at Arriaga, in the state of Chiapas near the Guatemalan border for the two-week journey to the U.S. border, during which they are routinely accosted by gangs, and drug traffickers who subject the “passengers” to rape, kidnapping, extortion and mugging. In addition, corrupt local officials demand bribes in exchange for allowing those passengers to continue on their journey.

How is this possible? “Human despair has been turned into a commodity, a flourishing business for illicit enrichment,” explains Huffington Post contributor Homero Aridjis.

It is illicit enrichment that flows overwhelmingly to a number of drug cartels. They have taken over a largely informal border smuggling business formerly operated by “coyotes” and turned into a sophisticated human trafficking operation where they maintain control of the entire border, as well as the routes leading up to it. As a result there has been a tenfold increase in the cost of getting across the border, from approximately $300 to $500 often paid to a single coyote, to as much as $3,000 to $6,000 per person, with prices often determined by age, gender and country of origin.

Furthermore, this “business model” may be successful to the point where it might be more lucrative than drug smuggling. According to statistics from the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA), total seizures of cocaine, heroine, marijuana and methamphetamine have declined in every state that shares a border with Mexico. Yet most telling, that decline has been greatest in Texas, which is the epicenter of the current crisis. The DEA and the U.S. Border Patrol refuses to confirm that the two are causally related, but Arizona Border Patrol spokesman Peter Bidegain insists the smugglers will “use what’s successful, so they’ll try anything.”

The apprehension of a staggering 57,000 UACs since October 2013—the latest revision of the total revealed by U.S. Customs and Border Protection Commissioner Gil Kerlikowski at a Senate hearing Wednesday–coupled with the additional 240,000 illegals apprehended since April, suggests the success has been overwhelming. If one takes the lowball figure of $3,000 per person and multiplies it by the number of apprehensions, human trafficking has turned a profit of $891 million over the last eight months.

And all of it is being abetted by an Obama administration that knows the overwhelming majority of UACs released into the general population will never show up for their deportation hearings. At the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs hearing Wednesday, Thomas Winkowski, deputy assistant secretary for U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement admitted as much, revealing that only 1300-1500 of the UACs from El Salvador, Guatemala and Honduras, the three countries fueling the crisis, have been deported so far. That number represents just over 3 percent of the total number of UACs apprehended to this point.

Statistics presented at a House Judiciary Committee just over two weeks ago paint an even grimmer reality. First, Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-VA) revealed that since 2011, ICE has only been able to remove fewer than 2,000 minors per year. Tom Homan, the official overseeing ICE’s removal operations, revealed a big reason why. “Last year we removed 1,800, but again as I said about the immigration courts: When we looked at all the unaccompanied alien children that were filed with the immigration court in the last five years, 87 percent of them are still in proceedings. We have no final orders,” Homan said.

Naturally, President Obama blamed Republicans for the crisis. At a press conference Wednesday night he insisted their opposition to his $3.8 billion spending request—along with their failure to pass comprehensive immigration reform–is facilitating it. “Are folks more interested in politics or are they more interested in solving the problem?” Obama said he asked Texas governor Rick Perry. “If they are interested in solving the problem then this can be solved. If the preference is for politics then it won’t be solved.”

Obama’s idea of “solving” the problem is to wait until Congress passes the appropriations bill before he will do anything about sealing the border—if at all. Hot Air’s Noah Rothman cuts through such transparent disingenuousness, explaining that in an emergency, “the executive branch does not wait for Congress to pass funding before it acts. It is beyond insulting to suggest that emergency supplemental funding is a precondition for a response to an emergency,” he writes.

It is even worse than that when one recalls Obama telling Americans in January that he has a pen and a phone, ”And I can use that pen to sign executive orders and take executive actions and administrative actions…”

And as hypocritical as the president is, the appropriations package is even more so. Dan Cadman at the Center for Immigration Studies analyzed the bill. He explains that 49 percent, or $1.8 billion, of the total requested by Obama would be spent on resettlement costs, not just for UACs, but entire family units. Another $5 million would be spent breaking the law because it would go to DHS attorneys tasked with defending UACs in court, even though “Section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act specifically prohibits representation of aliens in immigration proceedings at government expense.” Much of the enforcement portion of the funds would be spent on recouping costs for temporary detention and subsequent resettlement of illegals, 47 percent of whom are adults.

He also notes the “meager” $109 million being requested to facilitate anti-smuggling investigative efforts is destined to achieve limited success because the U.S. has “very little influence over ineffectual or corrupt police and military services in the source and transit countries, to ensure that they root out criminal gangs responsible for the smuggling.”

Cadman then levels the boom on the Obama administration.”On the U.S. side, the ones responsible for predicating the effort through contact with, and payment to, the gangs are often the parents or other relatives of those being smuggled and, rather than investigate and prosecute such individuals to the full extent of the law, the government instead acts as the ultimate delivery agent, passing along the smuggled-but-apprehended alien to the people who paid to have him or her smuggled,” he explains.

On Tuesday, Fox 11 News reporter Gigi Graciette tweeted that sources have informed her that three individuals on the government’s terrorist watch list attempted to cross the border from Mexico to California. Breitbart News reports that six individuals from Afghanistan, Iraq, and Yemen were recently picked up by the U.S. border patrol near Laredo, Texas. A November 2012 House Committee on Homeland Security report from the Oversight Sub-Committee revealed that “the U.S. Border Patrol regularly apprehends aliens from the 35 ‘special interest countries’ designated by our intelligence community as countries that could export individuals that could bring harm to our country in the way of terrorism.”

Between Fiscal Years 2006 and 2011, apprehensions of 1918 special interest aliens occurred at the nation’s Southwest border.

“The drug cartels will bring people into the country no matter who they are—for money,” explains Rep. Ted Poe (R-TX). “Everyone in the world knows that the border between the United States and Mexico is completely porous.” That includes an Obama administration that abets human trafficking—and a Commander-in Chief whose immigration agenda trumps any connect-the-dots commitment to national security. Pathetic.

Freedom Center pamphlets now available on Kindle: Click here.

Subscribe to Frontpage’s TV show, The Glazov Gang, and LIKE it on Facebook.

  • Mamabear

    I wonder why he is in our wh. first off everyone has known for fact he is a ilegal and so why does the Army, Navy and Air Force not just go in and arrest all the ones who help him against our Constitution. why call him President, I never have. as I see it for fact we have rot on both Dem and Rep who are helping him trash America..To immpeach him makes him sound to legal..just arrest them all and lets get our country back on tract

    • tagalog

      He’s in the White House because he is our First Black President (that’s why he got elected and re-elected), a status that immunizes him from impeachment, and probably from any other kind of lawsuit.

      • Kapil

        Yes, but that is not all. Hussein got elected through voting frauds:
        - Voter-identity fraud.
        - Voter-registration fraud.
        - Multiple-voting fraud.
        - Voter-intimidation fraud.
        Also, illegals were bussed to voting booths and workers voted multiple times for Hussein, just because he is black. All the Democratic Party had to do was to disregard Hussein ‘God D**N America’ Obama’s frauds, forgeries, scandals and corruption to place him on the ballot, above Hillary, for the colour of Hussein ‘Fundamentally-Transform-America’ Obama’s skin. Slam Dunk!

    • Kapil

      Disregarding Hussein ‘God D**N America’ Obama’s frauds, forgeries, scandals and corruption, Democratic Party grabbed power on the colour of Hussein’s skin; Hussein knows that, which is why he makes vote0greed Democrats pass Obamacare and DACA, in the darkness of the night. Having partaken Hussein’s vote-grab, Democrats have no choice but to stand behind their looting and raping ‘Black President’; again, Hussein knows that!
      So what if Hussein’s illegal amigos murder, loot and rape hard-working, tax-paying, honest and patriotic Americans? As long as illegals get WELFARE paid by the same murdered, looted and raped hard-working, honest and patriotic American tax-payers; and as long as Democrats get the VOTES, it is a Win-Win. Comprende?

  • aliciakpowers

    Josiah . although Jacqueline `s stori is surprising,
    last week I bought themselves a Chrysler from having made $5060 thiss month
    and-in excess of, 10/k last-month . it’s realy the easiest-work I have ever done
    . I started this 4 months ago and pretty much straight away was bringin in at
    least $78 per-hour . why not look here C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

    • tagalog

      Send the dang Chrysler back to Guatemala! It was probably built there, anyway.

    • shmo123

      That URL is not working.

  • tagalog

    The news reports that the U.S. just sent a rockin’ 126 Guatemalans back to Guatemala. Well, that’s good news. So what about the other 51,000 or so that we ONCE had in custody, but who are now no doubt at large somewhere in the United States, unconfined and unaccounted-for?

    • http://www.azpatriots.com/ azPatriotsDotCom

      According to Obama, as soon as a foreign national invades the country, s/he is entitled to medical care, clothing, food, entertainment, education, legal representation and transportation to their desired location anywhere in the USA… All at taxpayer’s expense.

      Holder also recently announced millions will be used to hire lawyers for illegals, despite that being expressly forbidden, by federal law. Section 292 of the Immigration and Nationality Act specifically prohibits representation of aliens in immigration proceedings at government expense. Obama and Holder have committed a crime, well, ANOTHER crime.

      Arrest them both and send them to Gitmo!

      • lisaecarver

        my classmate’s half-sister makes $73 an hour on the computer . She has
        been out of work for seven months but last month her check was $19134 just
        working on the computer for a few hours. navigate to this web-site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

        • Markdpez

          That’s not your picture and your classmate doesn’t have a half sister.

          • carolynggarcia

            before I looked at the check of $8543 , I accept
            …that…my neighbour woz like they say truley earning money parttime on their
            apple labtop. . there sisters neighbour has done this 4 only 19 months and by
            now cleared the debts on their house and bourt a gorgeous Ford . visit this
            site C­a­s­h­f­i­g­.­C­O­M­

      • tagalog

        And when the House says no to the allocation of billions of dollars to coddle these criminals, the Republicans will be called racist.

  • PATRIOT.WW48

    So, you were expecting ‘good’ from the mulatto-Marxist-muslim in the w.h.??????

  • retgrd

    I doubt that the exporting country is sharing any type of identification/background info as to these people/children and they are being released to “illegals” already here who we have no way to verify relationship. Therefore anyone including pedophiles, pimps and gang/cartels including business interests of chamber of commerce could be stepping up and taking “custody” of these people putting them to “work”. This is “humanitarian”? Replication of third if not “4th” world countries. Wonder as to the kickback percentage from the organized criminal element to the “party” and individual politicos

  • ObamaYoMoma

    What I want to know is who is footing the bill to pay for all these kids to be transported to the US border? Meanwhile, who is paying for the coyotes? Where is all this money coming from?

  • Charles larsen

    If 600 thousand unknown foreigners come across your border illegally, secretly, to take money from citizens, by fed ben’s it is an Invasion. We have been invaded its an act of war. How many other countries would tolerate it? . How do we know they are not trained guerilla fighters any age? Hello? These people used like paper towels Against the citizens of this country. Or they have a bigger plan down the road. It is sick madness. Its total bs. Another manufactured crisis, this administration really has no limits to their depravity in using people especially children. And our elected officials keep letting them. They are sick too.

    • Markdpez

      Anyone paying attention should not be surprised at how low the demorats are willing to go by orcustrating an illegal invasion to maintain power. I guess they believe it’s their only chance to maintain power after all their recent disasters.

  • fpm

    The more mutilated they are the more they will be dependent on the leftist government welfare system, this is exactly Hussein and his cronies ideal situation.

  • Juan Motie

    Noting the amount of criminal activity performed against these children as they make their way northward into the United States, as detailed in the article above, one has to wonder what kind of parent(s) would ever release their children to take such a perilous journey unaccompanied. The immorality of that act alone is staggering.

    As far as the flood of these illegal aliens is concerned, I would say this is all part of the plan by our islamofascist in chief, b. hussain 0bama, to wreak havoc on the American welfare and social support networks – attempting to collapse these systems – in his insane efforts to fundamentally transform America into a third world tyranny of misery and perdition.

  • USARetired

    Go ahead, charge Obama and his team with human trafficking and treason too! I dare you!