'Sound of Freedom' Hero Promotes Bill to Force Biden Admin to Find 85,000 Missing Migrant Kids
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Tim Ballard, the former Homeland Security agent who is on a mission to end human trafficking around the world, will testify on Capitol Hill this week demanding the Biden administration find the estimated 85,000 unaccompanied minors who crossed the southern border but are now unaccounted for in the United States.
Ballard, founder of Operation Underground Railroad, and the inspiration behind the summer blockbuster, Sound of Freedom, joined Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ) at a press conference on Capitol Hill Tuesday to introduce new legislation that would require the federal government to locate the children who have vanished.
"Unfortunately, the United States is the number one country in consuming child exploitation material in the entire world," Ballard said. "We might have the most pedophiles than any other country."
He added, "These children show up unaccompanied. More than 300,000 in the last couple of years. Where are they?" he asked.
Ballard said Health and Human Services (HHS) data shows the agency had those 85,000 children "at one point" but they have "disappeared into the belly of the country that consumes more child exploitation material than any other country on the planet."
"This should horrify every American," he urged.
Ballard points out there is only one reason why this is a problem.
"We refuse to enforce the borders," he said. "Unfortunately, everything in this country is so political. Politics over children is what we're doing in this country."
Ballard adds that leaders in Latin American countries fear for the safety of their women and children because of what is happening in the United States.
"We open our borders and it's a vacuum," he noted.
"According to the New York Post, the traffickers along the Mexican border are making $14 million a day. I believe that," he said. "I spent ten years on that border. I believe it. Millions are coming through these countries. They can't handle all the movement through the countries. Children are being lost along the way."
Smith's bill – Safeguarding Endangered Children, Unaccompanied, and at Risk of Exploitation (SECURE) Act – was proposed in July.
Nearly 345,000 unaccompanied minors have crossed the border since early 2021, according to the bill, citing U.S. Customs and Border Protection figures. Other figures by the agency estimate that more than 423,000 unaccompanied children have crossed the U.S.-Mexico border since President Joe Biden took office.
Smith's bill would compel the Biden administration to report on its efforts to locate, establish contact with, conduct wellness checks on, and investigate any suspicion of human trafficking related to the approximately 85,000 unaccompanied migrant children released from federal custody without continued official contact.
HHS, through its Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR), is responsible for the well-being of these children by ensuring they are placed in a safe environment, Fox News reports.
Rep. Smith said he drafted the legislation in collaboration with Roger Severino of The Heritage Foundation and Eduardo Verastegui, the producer of "Sound of Freedom."
"The Biden Administration must be held accountable for its failed open border policies that have put tens of thousands of children in grave danger and at great risk of death, child sexual exploitation, and abuse," said Rep. Smith, who has authored five laws to combat human trafficking, including the nation's landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
"This legislation is exactly where we need to start," Ballard said in a statement. "This is an emergency and we need to stop the bleeding. We must save children and save them now."
As CBN News reported, Ballard served for 12 years as a special agent for the Department of Homeland Security's Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Sex Tourism Jump Team and worked as an undercover operative infiltrating organizations at home and abroad that were abusing and trafficking children.
But Ballard said he often felt "helpless by the fact that the vast majority of the child victims that we would find fell outside the purview of the United States…Unless I could tie a US traveler to the case, I would not be able to rescue the children."
But all that changed when Ballard left his job to rescue children from human trafficking.
"Tim's heroic lifesaving work rescuing children from the extreme cruelty of sex trafficking—almost always at great physical risk to himself and his colleagues—is the stuff of legends," Rep. Smith said.
Ballard is testifying before Congress on Wednesday before the House's Homeland Security Committee and on Thursday before the House's Foreign Affairs Committee.
"I propose to you that foreign children are children of God, just as much as any American child is a child of God," Ballard said. "And they deserve the exact same protection that any U.S. child should deserve. Background checks, DNA run, the whole gambit. Do not release these children into the United States; 85,000 are missing and that's thanks to the Biden administration. And we're going to prevent any other child from being subjected to what is really slavery in our nation."
"We do all this because God's children are not for sale," he said.
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