60 Minutes whitewashes Joe Biden's open-borders child labor scandal
Now that the New York Times' dramatic exposé about the huge surge in migrant child labor at slaughterhouses, chemical factories, construction sites, and chicken processing plants is out, 60 Minutes has decided to do its own version of the story — this time rewriting the damning report to exonerate Joe Biden and his open-borders policies that created it.
A Nebraska middle school reporting a child with acid burns led to one of the largest investigations into child labor in the U.S. The Department of Labor found children as young as 13 were working overnights cleaning slaughterhouses. https://t.co/uBAwBp1BWk pic.twitter.com/YaZ88hFB8W— 60 Minutes (@60Minutes) May 7, 2023
It's as slovenly a report as any of the worst they've ever done, and naturally, 60 Minutes Biden shill Scott Pelley hosted it, sounding all 60 Minutes serious to make his report seem more important.
Actually, it's junk.
Here are a few pointers as to why:
Start with what the two New York Times reports revealed with rigorous, hard, fact-checked, verifiable reporting (here and here). (I blogged about those reports here and here.)
Report one, which ran on Feb. 25, 2023, by Hannah Dreier, had findings that were well summed up in its headline and subhead:
Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S.
Arriving in record numbers, they’re ending up in dangerous jobs that violate child labor laws — including in factories that make products for well-known brands like Cheetos and Fruit of the Loom.
Report two, which ran on April 17, 2023, also by Dreier, had these summaries:
As Migrant Children Were Put to Work, U.S. Ignored Warnings
The White House and federal agencies were repeatedly alerted to signs of children at risk. The warnings were ignored or missed.
These are both Pulitzer-worthy reports that ought to get that prize as something that would restore the credibility of both the Times and the Pulitzer board, which up until now has seen scandals like these.
It's all very easy to explain: Biden has opened the border to "unaccompanied children," which has incentivized child exploitation rackets to send Central American children to the States to work as heavy labor for unscrupulous employers. The administration has even become a middleman for the cartel rackets who exploit kids, taking in the children, and then releasing the children to child slavers, who are pretty obvious about who they are, as their "guardians." When some government officials complained and sent warnings up the chain of command that the kids were being sent to the exploiters, the officials were punished, fired, reassigned, sanctioned. The Biden administration then promptly "lost" at least 85,000 children, who disappeared into the factories and construction sites as child labor, forced to pay their "debts" to the sleazy cartels that smuggled them in in the first place. It should be noted that Biden reaped big political hay for a few hundred who went missing under the Trump administration. Now the exploitation has reached epic proportions, clearly linked to Biden's policy of never sending unaccompanied children back to their homes in their home countries.
But 60 Minutes had an agenda to promote, so it tried to rewrite the report to Biden's benefit.
First, the show barely mentioned that the kids were migrants coming in from Joe's open borders. Pelley's written report (and it's pretty close to the actual transcript) mentioned immigration just twice in a 13-minute segment:
The jobs are grim and dangerous — and so they are often filled by immigrants who are desperate for work. Some immigrants use false papers to routinely beat the federal identification system that is known as E-Verify.
Did he find any who weren't migrants? That would be a story.
Then Pelley tried to sneakily pin the blame on President Trump's administration as well as Joe Biden's as a means of claiming "they all do it," as a means of erasing Biden's responsibility:
Scott Pelley: Did any of the children tell you how long they had been working at the plant?
Shannon Rebolledo: Yes.
Scott Pelley: And how long was that?
Shannon Rebolledo: We looked back at a three-year period. So, we can confirm that they had minors working there as early as 2019.
No numbers offered and no questions from Pelley about what those 2019 numbers might be compared to the 2023 numbers. Twenty nineteen was a year when President Trump was in office, so see? Everybody does it. They may have found one or two cases. But child labor expanded greatly under Joe Biden and his open borders policies, with Joe insisting he'd never send back a child traveling alone. That's at least 85,000, and who knows how many they don't know about?
Then Pelley tried to pin the blame on bad companies that exploit child labor, not bad government policies that allow them to do so with impunity:
Last November, the Department of Labor filed suit against PSSI. The company responded with this: "PSSI has an absolute company-wide prohibition" against hiring minors. It added, "we will defend ourselves vigorously against these claims."
The statement said PSSI checks eligibility of employees, including this girl, on a federal database. But that database is well known to be abused in an industry that can struggle to find workers.
He even included a shot at E-Verify, which supposedly checks worker credentials for legality to work in the States, claiming that it is useless:
Employers have known for nearly 30 years that E-Verify is useless if the applicant has bought, borrowed or stolen an actual ID — which is common. And in the case of the children, E-Verify was especially dubious.
Ah. Mise well get rid of it, then, since it can be fooled. Just what the open-borders lobby wants.
Pelley did move up the corporate chain of command and landed at Blackstone, which owns the slaughterhouse-cleaning company PSSI:
For all the years the investigation found child labor, PSSI has been owned by Wall Street's Blackstone — the largest private equity firm in the world. Blackstone told us "extensive pre-investment due diligence showed PSSI had industry-leading hiring compliance..." But it seems, that diligence failed to find what was obvious to investigators watching a shift change in a parking lot. Still, the investment giant says, "a claim of insufficient diligence or oversight is simply false." And yet 102 children labored at 13 slaughterhouses in eight states.
60 Minutes featured Blackstone as the ultimate exploiter of migrant child labor, calling it a company of "billionaires," and then ran Blackstone's hard-to-believe official denials claiming that it would never dream of exploiting child labor — yet it never mentioned that Blackstone is primarily known as a Democrat donor and Biden ally.
Just corporate bad guys, see? All those dreadful billionaires...quick, let's expropriate.
Not one word about Joe Biden's open borders policies that have fueled this child-migrant labor surge.
Then, as if to counter the New York Times' damning report about government retaliation against whistleblowers inside the Department of Labor and other agencies, they trotted out a labor inspector named Sharon Rebolledo to show us all how diligently she was doing her job locating child labor exploitation, which is what she gets paid to do.
Shannon Rebolledo is a 17-year Labor Department investigator who was skeptical. But she went to Grand Island, Nebraska, last summer, after a middle school told police about acid burns on the hand and knee of a 14-year-old girl. The student explained that she worked nights in this slaughterhouse on the edge of town.
Scott Pelley: What did the educators at Walnut Middle School tell you?
Shannon Rebolledo: It seemed to be known within the community that minors either are or were working overnight shifts. They told us about children that were falling asleep in class, um, that had burns, chemical burns. They were concerned for the safety of the kids. They were concerned that they weren't able to stay awake and do their job, which is learning in school.
Scott Pelley: Because they'd been up all night.
Shannon Rebolledo: Right.
Just a heroic Labor Department inspector doing her duty, right? Not one word about the Labor Department employees who were sanctioned and fired for doing their duty back when the kids were hauled in by the Border Patrol.
Rebolledo put a stop to the practice in the companies cited but painted a hideous candy-colored false-light picture about how she "saved" those migrant kids and they lived happily ever after:
As for the child workers in Grand Island, privacy laws prevent officials from telling us much. But we do know one child is in foster care and others are with their parents.
Scott Pelley: You know, I wonder after speaking to these children, after exposing what was happening to them, what is your hope for them now?
Shannon Rebolledo: I hope that they're safe. I hope that they have an opportunity to be kids, to go to school and not be tired. And if they're working, I just, I hope that they're able to work in a safe environment.
Really? What about the cartels? What do cartels do when their payments from their exploited child laborers stop coming because the kids are off the jobs and in school? And tell us about the wisdom of releasing kids to "parents" (if they were parents) after putting their kids in these exploitation situations? Something about that doesn't smell right, either. Sixty Minutes, which weaseled out of asking any questions on privacy concerns, never bothered to ask any of the obvious ones.
What we had here was a bid to lament child labor, blame companies exclusively, omit the connection of the companies to Joe Biden, and make the government the rescuing hero.
This is baloney. The Times story is out, so we know what really happened. Sixty Minutes just tried to hitch a ride on the story in order to point the blame at everyone but the creator of this problem: Joe Biden himself.
Image: Screen shot from 60 Minutes video on Twitter.