What does Joe Biden say to the scourge of human-trafficking?

I woke up at 2:30, unable to sleep and overwhelmed by thoughts of the millions of young girls and boys who have been forced into sex-trafficking.  My mind was filled with images of these children, alone and afraid, living in terror, drugged, sold, and then raped and abused every moment of their waking lives.

Anyone with a conscience would recognize the horrific evil of human-trafficking and would do what he could to end it, but for decades, our government has done nothing, and the Biden administration has actually facilitated the trade by turning its back on our open southern border.

According to the 2021 Federal Human Trafficking report covering the U.S. — a report initiated by President Trump, not by Obama or Biden — 92% of trafficking victims were engaged in sex-trafficking and 8% in forced labor, and of these totals, 57% were children.  (Trump also signed the Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act in 2018, the only significant legislation in recent memory.)  The most recent report documents how little Biden has done in dealing with an enormous problem — for example, a decline in prosecutions once Biden entered office with a total of only 450 human-trafficking cases brought in 2021.

For whatever reason, and it may be political, statistics for the U.S. are harder to uncover than for other countries.  U.S. State Department figures, which show a total of some 20,000 persons trafficked across the U.S.-Mexico border, have been criticized as far too low.  Other estimates state that at any time 300,000 young people in the U.S. are "at risk" of being trafficked.  One has to wonder when Homeland secretary Alejandro Majorkas repeatedly declares the border "closed."  How would he know, since he has never visited the border?

None of this accords with statistics from many sources, including the Human Trafficking Institute (HTI), indicating that, globally, between 40 and 50 million persons are victims of trafficking at any one time.  With some 5% of the world's population and the wealth to support "demand," it could be assumed that the U.S. represents at least 5% of global trafficking cases, or 2.5 million.  Anything like that would be a national disgrace — a disgrace ignored by the U.S. State Department, Homeland Security, the president and vice president, and those progressive media like the Washington Post that support them.

There are groups attempting to fight human-trafficking , including the "Underground Railroad," which attempts to step in directly and save persons exploited, and the Human Trafficking Institute, but much more needs to be done.  Exodus Cry and International Justice Mission are two groups that focus on human-trafficking.  Much of the effort to combat trafficking comes from evangelical Christians, those same persons whom California and other states have done so much to suppress during the COVID epidemic.  (Ironically, California has one of the highest entry points into trafficking — Los Angeles — but Gov. Newsom does not address the issue frequently, nor does his aunt, Nancy Pelosi.  They are busy dining out during lockdowns and stocking their refrigerators, and closing churches, but they have nothing to say about the worst evil around them.)

The ultimate force driving this evil is the demand for young boys and girls among perverted Americans, who purchase sex like a commodity and believe they have the right to violate even young children.  These criminals should be punished with the maximum that the law allows, and new laws should be written providing for even greater punishments.  Jeffrey Epstein comes to mind, with his underage prostitution operation, in which some of the world's wealthiest and most famous celebrities indulged.  Charges against Epstein were repeatedly dropped or reduced to practically nothing.  Was this because the rich and famous did not want attention focused on their own culpability?

The Biden administration has made global warming the centerpiece of its domestic and foreign policy, but fighting climate change, a quixotic venture in any case, does nothing to save or shelter a single human being.  How much would have been gained if human-trafficking had been made the focus of this administration?  How proud would we be as a nation to know that we had saved a hundred thousand or a million children from lives that are cruel, painful, drugged, infested, and brief, and that we had given these children the opportunity to live in safety and with the dignity that every human  being deserves?  Our Declaration of Independence guarantees "Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness."  None of this is extended to the victims of trafficking.

All the graphic details of sex-trafficking, and the terror that young children experience, is running through my head, but I can't share these online.  You must imagine them for yourself, and you must determine to fight this evil with the influence you possess as an American citizen.  As an "invisible" issue, human-trafficking will never rank as a political priority.  Our representatives must be made aware of its importance.

If we wish to create God's vision of what our lives should be and fulfill our mission of life on Earth, we cannot turn our backs on millions of innocent children who, at this very moment, are being exploited at the hands of those to whom their fragile bodies are simply a carnal attraction.

We possess the resources to end human-trafficking in our country.  This effort would involve a combination of severe punishment for those involved in trafficking and control of the border to eliminate the influence of cartels that control the sex and drug trades.  With a resolute effort driven by conscience, we could end trafficking, and persons like me could sleep better at night.  Most important, though, millions of children could be spared.

Jeffrey Folks is the author of many books and articles on American culture including Heartland of the Imagination (2011).

Image: Gage Skidmore via Flickr, CC BY-SA 2.0.

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