Human Traffickers Taunt Border Patrol Agents with Rape, says Ernst
Women and girls as young as five years old are being “brutally” raped by cartel-backed human smugglers at the US-Mexico border, said Senator Joni Ernst (R-IA).
“[The smugglers are] intentionally taunting the American law enforcement officials by doing this,” he said. “It’s in your face, look, we can do whatever we want and there will be no repercussions…It’s so disgusting.”
In some cases, the victims are so badly injured that emergency medical personnel must be called in, added Ernst, who visited the border earlier this month with a group of GOP lawmakers. “And we heard of what they call ‘rape trees,’ where there are areas where the cartel smugglers will take the women and the girls and, well, rape them under a tree and then take their undergarments and throw them up into the tree and hang them from the branches.”
The sexual assault of migrants moving from Latin America to the United States is a serious problem that has persisted for years as migrants make deals with cartel-baked smugglers in hopes of finding a better life. Sexual assault is often part of the “price” of the journey and many women prepare by taking contraception.
Official data suggests 30% of women and girls that are trafficked to the US-Mexico border are being sexually abused along the way, but Amnesty International estimates the actual number is closer to 60%.
For some women, the abuse continues after the journey when they are forced to work as prostitutes in the United States. Police have discovered this taking place in McAllen, TX, a border community of 142,500 residents.
Speaking with Fox News Digital, Ernst called on the Biden Administration to stop these “heartbreaking” crimes by strengthening border security.
The Biden Administration’s catch and release policy “encourages more people to traffic up to the border,” argues Ernst. “More families will send their children to the border, and we know that they’ll be abused along the way. And so we have to stop that.”
We must also improve the protocols for dealing with unaccompanied minors, says Ernst. As it stands, unaccompanied children are processed, sent to their “contact,” and checked on 30 days later. No further visits are required.
“Even if they don’t answer on that 30-day period check in, nobody follows up. How do we know that those children are actually going to a relative? How do we know that they are not being trafficked for sex use? How do we know they’re not being sold into indentured servitude? I mean, I have so many questions about what the heck is going on.”
During his visit to the border, Ernst witnessed two unaccompanied girls (ages 5 and 6) traveling with a group of migrants. Each had contact information for relatives living in the United States.
It is possible that one or both of them had been abused by the smugglers who helped them reach the border.
“We are facing a humanitarian and national security crisis of historic proportions at our Southern border,” warns Ernst. “Anyone who visits…hears directly from our border officials, and sees this historic crisis firsthand could not possibly claim that our border is closed – despite what Biden Administration officials falsely say.”
There have been an estimated 1.7 million migrant encounters at the border so far this year.