The man whose story inspired the hit movie Sound of Freedom told a U.S. Congressional panel Wednesday that the Biden administration's immigration policies along the southern border are “feeding the growth” of child sex trafficking.
Tim Ballard, whose story was re-told in the summer blockbuster, told a U.S. House panel that the lack of a physical wall, the Biden administration’s so-called “catch and release” policy and the lack of vetting of sponsors for unaccompanied minors is leading to a growth in child sex trafficking. Ballard is the founder of the organization Underground Railroad and is now a senior advisor to the Spirit Fund. He formerly worked for the CIA and the Department of Homeland Security.
Ballard made the comments to the U.S. House Homeland Security Committee.
“Traffickers use our southern border to bring slaves into our country for the sex industry because the United States is one of the highest consumers in child sex abuse material in the world,” Ballard said. “Our federal agents who work at the southern border are women and men who have the highest integrity and dedication. Yet despite the hard work and success by agents on the ground, one thing has become vividly clear: Poor U.S. border security and broken U.S. policy are feeding the growth of human trafficking in the United States.”
The “absence of physical barriers on our border” is one reason for that growth, he said.
“I have personally seen how ports of entry were responsible for helping rescue a child, catch a sexual predator and start a chain of events that rescued multiple children from his abuse,” he said. “On the other hand, I've spoken with survivors who were trafficked by cartels taking advantage of the miles of unprotected U.S. border.”
House panelists viewed a scene from Sound of Freedom in which his character finds a victim at a port of entry. The scene is based on a real-life event, he said.
Ballard said one specific victim of sex trafficking, a young woman, told him she “would have had a better chance of being rescued” with a wall and a port of entry.
Asked by a House member if the administration’s “catch and release policies” are “facilitating the trafficking of people and children,” Ballard answered, “yes.”
Ballard also criticized the lack of vetting of sponsors of unaccompanied minors. More than 150,000 unaccompanied minors reached the southern border in 2022, he said.
“There's no background checks, there's no fingerprinting” of sponsors, he said.
Photo courtesy: ©Getty Images/Fred Hayes/Stringer
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.
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