Homeland Security Secretary Kirstjen Nielsen told Fox News' Tucker Carlson on Tuesday night that human traffickers are using "child recycling" rings to smuggle migrants into the country.
"We’ve broken up so-called 'child recycling' rings, if you can believe it, in the last couple of months, which is where smugglers kidnap a child," Nielsen said. "They give it to an adult to cross the border, present themselves as a family."
"Once they get in, because, as you know, we can only hold families for 20 days, they send the child back and bring the child back with another family – another fake family, another adult," Nielsen added.
"We’re working to crack down on all the transnational criminals; the gangs and smuggling and trafficking. But I cannot be clear -- and I don’t think the president can be any clearer; he will take every action within his authority to stop this flow," Nielsen continued. "In my opinion, right now this is one of, if not the biggest crisis, this country has faced in a decade, truly. I mean the security aspects of this, the humanitarian aspects of this have got to be addressed."
Nielsen also noted that most of the migrants crossing the U.S. border are not asylum seekers, but are economic migrants.
"I mean I think what you saw, also in the clip that you showed, is many of the people coming are economic migrants. They are not truly seeking asylum," Nielsen said. We want to help those who are. But many of them have been given magic words to come in and to get a job and take that job away from Americans. So we are looking to increase rates at E-Verify. We’ve made it easier for employers to comply with it, but we’re looking to do everything we can throughout the system to apply penalties where we can."
Former DHS Special Agent Tim Ballard, who is an expert in fighting sex trafficking, wrote in a February op-ed that those who oppose President Donald Trump’s proposed border wall "have never utilized the wall to rescue sex trafficking victims and therefore they do not understand its power for good, its power to rescue trafficked children."
"In contrast to the critics, I worked 12 years as a special agent/undercover operator for Homeland Security Investigations, 10 of which included a tour combating sex trafficking on the southern border. Since that time I have continued the fight as CEO of the anti-trafficking organization Operation Underground Railroad, or O.U.R. Furthermore, I have worked closely with the heads of every U.S. agency whose job it is to find and rescue children being trafficked across the southern border," Ballard wrote. "Altogether, we are the ones — and the only ones — who have utilized or are utilizing the border wall to rescue children. We are the experts. And we all agree that the building, expansion and strengthening of the border wall has been one of many effective tools, and will continue to be an effective tool, in the rescuing of trafficked children."