Biden Admin Whistleblowers Claim ‘Billions Of Taxpayer Dollars’ Used By Gov Contractor To Traffic Children On The Border

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The Biden administration’s Office of Refugee Resettlement failed to vet sponsors responsible for caring for unaccompanied children apprehended crossing the border, whistleblowers told Senators Tuesday, describing several cases of apparent human trafficking involving the minors and their sponsors.

“What I discovered was horrifying: children were being trafficked with billions of taxpayer dollars by a contractor failing to vet sponsors and process children safely, with government officials complicit in it,” Deborah White, a federal employee detailed to the Department of Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement, ORR, told Republicans during a roundtable co-hosted by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), Bill Cassidy (R-La.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.).

White revealed that she and her colleague, Tara Rodas, first discovered a case of trafficking involving minors crossing the border in June 2021, but even after reporting it, “children continued to be sent to dangerous locations with improperly vetted sponsors.”

“Children were sent to addresses that were abandoned houses or nonexistent in some cases,” White said. “In Michigan, a child was sent to an open field, even after we reported making an 911 call after hearing someone screaming for help, yet the child was still sent.”

“When I raised concerns about contractor failures and asked to see the contract I was told, ‘You’re not gonna get the contract and don’t ask for it again.’

So I took it upon myself to create trainings for significant incident reports of sexual abuse and for flagging trafficking, in order to equip case managers,” she added. 

“But, children continued to be sent to dangerous places.” White noted that ORR officials never met with sponsors face-to-face and said fraudulent documents were “rampant.”

Rodas characterized ORR as unifying children with “random people,” who were more often than not not the parents of the children.   

She described the case of a 16-year-old girl from Guatemala, whose sponsor claimed to be her older brother. 

Tara Rodas
Rodas provided senators with specific examples of unaccompanied minors who appear to have been sponsored by sex traffickers.Facebook / Chuck Grassley

“He was touching her inappropriately. It was clear her sponsor was not her brother,” Rodas said, noting that the girl “looked drugged” and as if “she was for sale” on her sponsor’s social media postings.

The sponsor had other social media accounts containing child pornography, according to Rodas, explaining that it keeps her up at night wondering if the teen is safe. 

Florida Department of Children and Families Secretary Shevaun Harris told the senate panel that she found it “frightening” that less than 10% of children apprehended crossing the border are being released to their parents.  

“When we questioned documents, HHS ORR leadership said, ‘You’re not fake ID experts, and your job is not to investigate the sponsor.

Your job is to reunify the child with the sponsor,’” White told the senate panel. 

The whistleblowers argued that ORR and the primary contractor used to resettle unaccompanied children, Cherokee Federal, ignored warnings that children were being trafficked in an effort to prevent crowding at the southern border. 

“Cherokee Federal staffed the site with several unqualified unvetted and quite frankly dangerous contractors with access to vulnerable children that did not get the appropriate support, services, or humanity they deserved after a most treacherous journey,”

White said. “I have seen these children, I have interviewed these children and I have stories that will haunt me for the rest of my life.”

Republican senators called on Biden to address the potential human trafficking of unaccompanied minors by securing the US southern border.James Breeden for the New York Post

She called the ORR program “the biggest failure in government history that I have ever witnessed.”

“HHS ORR leadership and the contractor allowed children to be trafficked on their watch and the taxpayers continue to fund it,” she added.

“The exploitation of children should not be partisan,” Sen. Bill Cassidy (R-La.) argued.

“President Biden has the power to prevent this by securing our border and reforming ORR to protect children from harm,” he added.

“Unfortunately, Biden is choosing to manage the border crisis as a messaging issue for his campaign rather than addressing the humanitarian catastrophe that has resulted from his policies.” 

“If the exploitation of children will not force the President into action, I’m not sure what will.”

HHS and Cherokee Federal did not immediately respond to The Post’s requests for comment.


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