At a hearing this morning on Capitol Hill on the growing crisis of unaccompanied minors crossing the border, U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul talked about how this children are being exploited by the smugglers. "“Today on the Southwest border we are facing an escalating refugee crisis. Parents are handing over their young children by the thousands to cartels who are profiting by smuggling these kids to the U.S. Many are under the age of 10 – including some barely old enough to walk.
These children, with no parent, relative or legal guardian, risk a perilous and sometimes fatal journey riding buses or trains from Central America via Mexico. As a father of five, it’s unimaginable what would compel a parent to risk the lives of their children on such a dangerous passage, not to mention the risk of sexual assault, exploitation and the potential to be trafficked.
When they arrive at the border, the children are simply turning themselves into the nearest Border Patrol agent. However patrol stations are not set up to handle this massive and growing number of detainees – let alone children. Shelters have been established, like the one at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio. We’ve all seen the photos of hundreds of children piled on top of each other, and the flow shows no signs of abating. Every member of this Committee, including myself, is gravely concerned about the safety of children no matter where they come from"
Video of Chairman McCaul's opening comments at this mornings hearing: