Unaccompanied and Unsafe: Biden Policies Facilitate Exploitation and Abuse of Child Migrants

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 126

By Jessica M. Vaughan and Tara Lee Rodas on October 12, 2023

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This week’s Parsing Immigration Policy episode raises awareness of a disturbing aspect of the border crisis – a large and increasing number of unaccompanied alien children who are delivered by the government into the hands of labor and sex traffickers. Guest Tara Lee Rodas, a Health and Human Services (HHS) whistleblower who recently testified before Congress, speaks about current U.S. immigration policies and court rulings that lead to the rapid release of unaccompanied minors (UACs) to unvetted sponsors in the U.S.

Guest host Jessica Vaughan, the Center’s director of policy studies, and Rodas discuss the flaws in the immigration system and the Biden policies, revealing shocking details about the lax vetting of sponsors who are given custody of unaccompanied alien children without proper background checks or monitoring.

Rodas describes the process as “government-sponsored, taxpayer-funded child trafficking,” as the federal Office of Refugee Resettlement and its contractors literally complete the final stage of human smuggling schemes, which frequently end up with the transfer of minors to criminal enterprises, forced labor arrangements, cartels, or gangs.

“It is easier to get a UAC than to get a pet,” says Rodas.

Vaughan, who also testified before Congress on the trafficking of UACs, said, “We urge lawmakers to act with urgency to disrupt and de-fund this system, and demand reforms from the agencies involved. What higher priority can there be than the safety and well-being of vulnerable children? It is shameful for our government to allow this to continue under the pretense of helping migrants.”

The conversation concludes with specific federal and state policy suggestions that can be implemented to help end the trafficking of UACs.

In her closing commentary, Vaughan highlights an alarming proposed regulation announced by the Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) that would further institutionalize Biden policies granting more freedom to ORR and contractors while reducing accountability. The public comment period for these troubling changes will close in 60 days.

Vaughan also announced that the Center will be co-sponsoring a conference to combat human trafficking to be held in Houston on December 12th and 13th.


Jessica Vaughan is the Director of Policy Studies the Center for Immigration Studies.


Tara Lee Rodas is a Federal Inspector General Employee at Health and Human Resources.


Watchdog Report Blasts Treatment of Migrant Kids in Custody

Testimony by Tara Lee Rodas. The Biden Border Crisis: Exploitation of Unaccompanied Alien Children

Testimony by Jessica Vaughan. The Biden Border Crisis: Exploitation of Unaccompanied Alien Children

Video: Former Biden Transition Official Andrew Lorenzen-Strait Describes His “Corrupt Bargain” Scheme

Video: Trafficked in America

Florida Emergency Rule on UAC Resettlement

Florida Grand Jury Report on UACs

Regulation Published for “Notice and Comment”


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".