Grassley Alerts DHS, FBI To Evidence Of Human Trafficking; Calls For Immediate Action To Locate & Rescue Migrant Children
Senator Chuck Grassley is flagging new evidence of suspected trafficking of migrant children for federal law enforcement agents, and calling for immediate action to find and rescue children placed in dangerous situations by federal officials, according to a press release from his office.
Grassley’s referral for law enforcement action is based on a review of legally protected whistleblower disclosures, including Health and Human Services records tracking interactions with unaccompanied alien children who entered at the Southern border and who were eventually placed with often-poorly vetted sponsors.
My office is working diligently with whistleblowers to identify as many missing children as possible, in hopes they can be found and saved. I expect the cooperation of DHS, as well as the full cooperation of HSI, FBI, HHS, and any NGOs involved, in this critical mission. It is our moral duty to do all we can to rescue children who may have endured sexual abuse or forced labor,” Grassley said in a letter this week to Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas and FBI Director Christopher Wray.
Grassley’s letter summarizes several cases of potential human trafficking and vetting failures. It is accompanied by a detailed packet to law enforcement containing specific and sensitive information to further substantiate Grassley’s concerns and assist law enforcement in locating and recovering children placed in dangerous situations.
In response to Grassley’s questions at a recent Senate Judiciary Committee hearing on the safety of unaccompanied migrant children, the director of the Department of Homeland Security’s Center for Countering Human Trafficking testified that “HSI responds to every instance of human trafficking that [it is] made aware of as soon as [it is] made aware of it.” Therefore, Grassley’s referral should trigger immediate law enforcement action. Despite the witness’ pledge to provide Grassley with a detailed plan of action to recover the missing children, DHS has failed to do so in the three months following the hearing.