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Democrats must answer for the ‘marketplace of children’ on the southern border

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Democrats must answer for the marketplace of children on the southern border

They’ve gone from denial to silence. As evidence continues to mount that migrants are buying and selling kids near the southern border in a “marketplace of children,” Democrats have offered no solutions to the loophole in asylum laws used by many illegal immigrants. But they’ve done worse than not offered solutions. They’ve essentially supported the practice by keeping the loophole open even after knowing the practice is rampant.

Even left-leaning media can no longer ignore the issue. According to the Seattle Times:

Migrants in Tijuana shelters said they are alarmed after reports of single mothers being approached by groups of men who have offered to buy children to improve their chances of safely crossing into the United States.

A decades-old legal document, known as the Flores agreement, says migrant children should only be held briefly in U.S. border custody, which often means they are released, along with the parent or guardian with whom they crossed while they wait for their asylum cases to make their way through clogged immigration courts.

As politicians likes Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Ayanna Pressley push for open borders policies by complaining about migrant detention facility conditions yet voting against any funds being used to help the migrants, Republicans and conservative journalists have called them out for their lies. But this isn’t enough. They won’t walk back their lies, so it’s time to demand answers for the obvious problems with asylum laws, namely the Flores agreement.

Birthed with positive intentions but failing to address the humanitarian crisis of today that has arisen as a result, the Flores agreement is the loophole Democrats refuse to address. It gives too much power to illegal immigrants who use children specifically to gain entry and release into the United States. Whether it’s their own children or children they have purchased from other migrants, this practice is about as anti-American as anything allowed today.

Yet, it’s still allowed. Border patrol can only do so much to try to stop this trend from increasing. They’re using DNA testing, questioning children when possible, and trying to locate actual relatives when purchased children are discovered, but they’re overburdened by sheer numbers.

There are two ways to fix this.

Option 1: Replace Flores with migrant children protection centers

The Flores agreement should be immediately suspended and replaced by a humanitarian doctrine of comfortable detention. The idea behind the Flores agreement was to prevent children from having to endure harsh conditions in detention for extended periods of time. But the use of children as an early-release mechanism and the rise of human traffickers using purchased children as a means to bypass U.S. law means the children being “protected” by Flores are actually being harmed by it.

It’s time to pony up the money to fix the problem by creating “migrant children protection centers.” These facilities would be specifically designed for families to live comfortably while they await two things: confirmation of family relations or guardianship and the asylum hearing. Keeping them in these comfortable facilities with housing, schools, and medical facilities is the only way to ensure they’re not being thrown into the wild or reused by other illegal immigrants.

The way the system is set up now, a previously-unknown MS-13 gang member can purchase a child at the border and gain entry to the United States. But with no tracking possible after release to the interior, the children used have a good chance of being discarded somewhere in the United States or recycled back to Mexico where they can help other gang members cross over. That’s not the type of life these children deserve, but it’s the type of life Democrats are defending by keeping their unsafe practices and loopholes in place.

There are those who would balk at such an expense. Housing tens or hundreds of thousands of migrants comfortably would carry a high price-tag. But right now, the cost of trying to track down migrants who do not show up for their asylum hearings is already extremely high. We aren’t able to keep track of them, and with 90% of current asylum seekers never showing up again, the number of removal orders is skyrocketing. We can pay the money upfront and keep tabs on those who are claiming asylum, or we can pretend they’re going to come to their hearing and pay a higher cost to either find them later or cover them with services for years.

Option 2: Send judicial officials to the border to expedite asylum claims for “families”

If we must keep Flores in place, then let’s prioritize asylum claims for those protected by it. They can be held in migrant detention facilities for 20 days. That sets the time limit for their hearings. Send an army of judges to the border where they can hear the claims of migrants traveling with children within the time frame that they’re still in custody.

This, too, is only fair to the children. Otherwise, we’re relegating them to a status of always living “on the run” when their parents do not show up for their asylum hearing. Their claims should be heard quickly so they can either be granted asylum or deported back to their country of origin if they do not qualify.

Why leave the children in limbo?

This, too, would be expensive. But again, the cost is infinitesimal compared to the long-term burden on taxpayers and the cost of locating them after they’ve disappeared into the interior.

Of the two options, this seems like the better.

If we expedite asylum claims for “families,” I guarantee these poor kids will no longer be exploited. Send judges to the border, hear the claims, and grant them asylum or send them home BEFORE they’re released to the interior.

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