Biden’s border policies are helping cartels operate child sex trafficking rings in US, ex-DHS agent warns

Tim Ballard, the former Homeland Security agent whose experience rescuing child sex trafficking victims inspired the film “Sound of Freedom,” accused the U.S. government of helping to facilitate cartel-led child trafficking rings in the United States by releasing young migrants who crossed the southern border into their care.

“It is shameful that I have to say this, but I spent 12 years working for the U.S. government to rescue children. Now, thanks to these policies, I have to rescue children from the U.S. Government,” Ballard said Tuesday on “The Story.”

“This is dangerous,” he warned. “This is a crisis.”


Moments earlier, Ballard joined Rep. Chris Smith, R-N.J., at a press conference outside the U.S. Capitol in Washington, D.C., demanding the Biden administration find an estimated 85,000 unaccompanied minors, who entered the U.S. via the southern border and remain unaccounted for.

Smith announced new legislation dubbed the “Safeguarding Endangered Children, Unaccompanied and at Risk of Exploitation Act of 2023” or as the “SECURE Act of 2023,” which aims to compel the federal government to report on efforts to locate, establish contact with, conduct wellness checks on, and investigate any suspicion of human trafficking related to the approximately 85,000 unaccompanied migrant children released from the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Office of Refugee Resettlement (ORR) custody “with whom subsequent contact has been lost.” 

Ballard told FOX News host Martha MacCallum that border patrol agents are on his “side in this,” and are being ordered to “to do things that are absolutely insanity” due to the Biden administration’s border policies.

“These children who show up are released to whoever picks them up. Almost zero vetting is done,” he said. “A U.S. child would receive much more than that, a U.S. child would be protected if they showed up in New York City or any city. How come we’re not affording the same protections to children, who to no fault of their own are brought to the border, and we just release them into a country mind you, that is the number 1 consumer of child sex material in the world?”

Ballard explained that migrant children often enter the United States with the name or phone number of a so-called “sponsor.” The children are then placed into the care of the Department of Health and Human Services, which contacts their sponsors and releases them – without proper vetting – to these individuals offering to be the child’s guardian. Ballard said the Biden administration’s policies have essentially turned Border Patrol, DHS and HHS into “child trafficking delivery services.” 

“I spent 10 years on this border,” he said in the FOX News interview. “These children have to be released to Health and Human Services. Health and Human Services has to release them to whoever shows up as the sponsor. Sometimes they come because the traffickers put a name, a piece of paper in their pocket, safety pinned to their shirt.” 

“HHS by mandate, because of the Biden administration, has to call that number and they used to come pick the kids up. Not anymore. Now your taxpayer dollars are paying for what might be the last leg of a child trafficking experience. They call the number. They send the kid and then, the number just disappears. You can’t follow up. The kid is gone,” Ballard said.

The Biden administration has described its immigration policy as a “compassionate” approach to the border issue, but Rep. Smith said the White House has only emboldened cartels running human and sex trafficking operations throughout the United States.

“President Biden has claimed that this is compassionate. It’s the polar opposite. It’s the antithesis of compassion. The president of Guatemala told me a year and a half ago that 80% of all the women and children coming from his country are sexually assaulted,” Smith told MacCallum. 

Statistics kept by U.S. Customs and Border Protection report at least 345,000 children that have crossed the United States southern border unaccompanied since early 2021, according to a copy of the bill obtained by Fox News Digital. The legislation states thousands of these children have been victims of child sex trafficking, forced child labor, or child sexual exploitation and abuse, or some combination of these crimes. 


“The cartels are making billions. And the whole idea of forcing them into child sex trafficking or labor trafficking or both is everywhere….,” Smith said. “There are 85,000 unaccompanied minors. The administration won’t tell us what happened to them. They do this quick turnaround — if this were adoptions, there would be vetting of who the children would be going with. That’s nowhere to be found in this. It’s hurry up, get them out the door and God forbid they go into a trafficking situation.”

After showing a clip from the film “Sound of Freedom,” MacCallum asked Ballard to give the public a sense of what happens to the thousands of migrant children once they’re sold into slavery in the U.S.


“I’ve seen cases of children being raped 10 to 20 times within a 24-hour period,” Ballard replied. “That’s the reality of the sex market in places like New York City and Los Angeles. That’s the fate of these children who show up without a name, Social Security, identity. They’re gone. They’re in this.”

Referencing a line from the movie, Ballard continued, “God’s children are not for sale. That’s how we should see all of these children. It doesn’t matter. Borders and boundaries, nationalities don’t mean anything. Every child should be treated like a child of God.”

Fox News’ Danielle Wallace contributed to this report.

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