A former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special agent on the southern border who fought sex trafficking for over a decade is pleading for Congress to continue building border walls to put an end to the tens of thousands of children being trafficked into the U.S. by sex slavers.
Former DHS official Timothy Ballard recently wrote a piece for Fox News to plead for a border wall and increased border security. Ballard is the founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad (O.U.R.), an organization dedicated to rescuing children from sex trafficking.
Ballard says that tens of thousands of Central American children have been trafficked into the U.S. and forced into the commercial sex trade.
I spent over 12 years working as a special agent/undercover operator for Homeland Security Investigations in the Child Crimes/Child Trafficking unit. For a decade of that service, I was stationed at the border office in Calexico, California. Based on my extensive experience fighting transnational crime along the southern border, I know that we should absolutely finish building the wall for the sake of the children.
Ballard went on to detail the horrible story of a 13-year-old girl who was kidnapped from her village, smuggled into the U.S. through an area where there is no border barrier, and forced to sexually service up to 40 men a day in New York City.
This girl, “Lilana,” was rescued by Ballard’s organization, but there are tens of thousands of others who are still enslaved and more are being smuggled into the U.S. every day.
“The U.S. is one of the highest, if not the highest, consumers of child sex. As such, traffickers know they will become very wealthy by getting their enslaved children into our country. We do these traffickers a great favor by leaving our border virtually wide open,” Ballard wrote.
We should stop seeing the border wall as something that would keep the “bad guys” out – though it would certainly help do that too. We must instead focus on its ability to prevent children from being brought in to become sex slaves. The wall would undoubtedly be a significant barrier to entrance into the black market of child sex trafficking, thus decreasing kidnappers and traffickers’ incentives in the first place.
For those children who are still kidnapped, the wall would provide hope. Had there been a wall, Liliana’s traffickers would have likely been compelled to try their luck at any given port of entry, which are armed with advanced technology and well-trained officers.
“Roughly 10,000 children are being smuggled into the U.S. every year to be sold as sex slaves – we owe it to them to finish this wall and protect them from the monsters within,” Ballard wrote.
Ballard wrapped up his piece slamming those who call the border wall “immoral.”
Well, is a wall “immoral” or not? Is 30 percent moral, but 31 percent is immoral? Their argument quickly falls apart, because walls work and wall opponents know that, or else they would be demanding the “moral” thing be done at long last, and tear it all down.
Without a wall to protect her, Liliana didn’t get to enter America in a way that would have allowed her to experience the promises of the Statue of Liberty. Instead of breathing and living freely with a loving American foster family, she found herself enslaved by American sex predators.
“Put the children first, and our path forward becomes clear,” Ballard concluded.
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