President Joe Biden knows "full well" the issues with human trafficking that are growing as more migrants head to the U.S.-Mexico border, but still has enacted policies that are helping the criminal element, Sen. Ron Johnson said Thursday.
"One thing that has largely been kept out of the public domain is the human trafficking element of this," the Wisconsin Republican said on Fox Business' "Mornings With Maria." "(Biden is) enacting policies basically facilitating the business model, the multi-billion dollar business model, of some of the most evil people on the planet."
His comments came after a video was released on Wednesday by federal authorities that shows two Ecuadoran children, ages 3 and 5, being abandoned by smugglers who dropped them over a 14-foot-high barrier along the U.S.-Mexico border. The girls were not hurt, but U.S. Border Patrol officials said the incident was appalling.
"(These are people) who will drop children 14 feet from a fence, or when interdicted on the Rio Grande will throw a child, a baby overboard so CBP will try to save the child as opposed to interdicting drug traffickers," said Johnson. "In 2018 or 2019 they were selling children, one for $84 dollars so adults could exploit our very lenient asylum laws when it comes to families and unaccompanied children."
The situation is "depressing," because former President Donald Trump had largely solved the problem of unaccompanied children and families traveling across the border, he added.
"We had in our sights securing our border so we could take the next steps to figure out what to do humanely with DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) children," with Trump building up the border wall, but that stopped with Biden's actions to overturn Trump's course on immigration, said Johnson.
"(We were) setting up a legal immigration system that was targeted to our economy," said Johnson. "We were so close but President Biden, Vice President (Kamala) Harris blew it up, completely dismantled it. Now we have a crisis bigger than anything we have ever seen."
Biden, he added, wants a "complete open-border policy," but that can't happen.
"Millions want to come to this country," said Johnson. "We can't accept all comers."
Meanwhile, the Biden administration is planning to relocate unaccompanied minors at the border to holding sites, but federal officials are concerned that the moves could pose a danger to the children while violating a 1997 standard for holding them in "safe and sanitary" conditions.
The Border Patrol can hold the children for up to 72 hours in their detention facilities before moving them to the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, but a backlog is causing the children to be held longer.
Almost 5,800 child migrants were reported being housed at Border Patrol facilities as of Sunday, more than twice the June 2019 record at 2,600, and those numbers are expected to rise.
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