Home / General / American Policy Makers Just Don’t Care about Immigrant Child Labor

American Policy Makers Just Don’t Care about Immigrant Child Labor

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MCALLEN, TX – JUNE 12: A two-year-old Honduran asylum seeker cries as her mother is searched and detained near the U.S.-Mexico border on June 12, 2018 in McAllen, Texas. The asylum seekers had rafted across the Rio Grande from Mexico and were detained by U.S. Border Patrol agents before being sent to a processing center for possible separation. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) is executing the Trump administration’s “zero tolerance” policy towards undocumented immigrants. U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions also said that domestic and gang violence in immigrants’ country of origin would no longer qualify them for political asylum status. (Photo by John Moore/Getty Images)

Good piece here about how people were shouting from the rooftops about the rise of child labor, including to the Biden administration, but basically no one cares about immigrants.

Over the past two years, more than 250,000 migrant children have come alone to the United States. Thousands of children have ended up in punishing jobs across the country — working overnight in slaughterhouses, replacing roofs, operating machinery in factories — all in violation of child labor laws, a recent Times investigation showed. After the article’s publication in February, the White House announced policy changes and a crackdown on companies that hire children.

But all along, there were signs of the explosive growth of this labor force and warnings that the Biden administration ignored or missed, The Times has found.

Again and again, veteran government staffers and outside contractors told the Health and Human Services Department, including in reports that reached Secretary Xavier Becerra, that children appeared to be at risk. The Labor Department put out news releases noting an increase in child labor. Senior White House aides were shown evidence of exploitation, such as clusters of migrant children who had been found working with industrial equipment or caustic chemicals.

As the administration scrambled to clear shelters that were strained beyond capacity, children were released with little support to sponsors who expected them to take on grueling, dangerous jobs.

In interviews with The Times, officials expressed concern for migrant children but shifted blame for failing to protect them.

H.H.S. officials said the department vetted sponsors sufficiently but could not control what happened to children after they were released. Monitoring workplaces, they said, was the job of the Department of Labor.

Officials at the Labor Department said inspectors had increased their focus on child labor and shared details about workers with H.H.S., but said it was not a welfare agency.

And White House officials said that while the two departments had passed along information about migrant child labor, the reports were not flagged as urgent and did not make clear the scope of the problem. Robyn M. Patterson, a White House spokeswoman, said in a statement that the administration was now increasing scrutiny of employers and reviewing its vetting of sponsors.

I think the real issue that the Biden administration, starting with the president, simply does not care about the people who are migrating to the United States and that indifferent attitude opens up the door to rank exploitation with an unwillingness of the government to respond even when officials hear about it. Stephen Miller approves.

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