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The Dark Side of the Border

Security at the southern border is critical, but let’s not talk about illegal immigration. There is an issue more compelling and serious than what you’ve been seeing in the headlines recently. The inability to foster and promote security along the border has a profound effect on the illicit trafficking of children and women by criminal cartels.

Believe it when the experts describe the horrors of human slavery and trafficking. But, who are the experts?

Tim Ballard is a former special agent with the Department of Homeland Security, who also spent a year on the southern border assigned to monitor human slavery and trafficking. He is now the CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, a nonprofit program with international partners designed to rescue children from criminal trafficking organizations.

“Nobody out there is defending the victims without a voice,” Ballard said to Sara Carter, a Fox News reporter, during an interview on the The Ingram Angle.

A few months ago, President Donald Trump signed the “Trafficking Victims Protection Reauthorization Act,” which takes aim at a $150 billion industry of human slavery. It is estimated to effect 30 million people worldwide. That’s right, our porous borders contribute to the human trafficking disaster.

“We’re talking about, in many cases, women and children grabbed, thrown into the backseat of a car, or thrown into a van with no windows, with no—any form of air,” President Trump said. “Tape put across their mouths…”

While my thoughts may sound a little political, the truth is: this is a huge security issue and a gruesome reality.

“Traffickers don’t go through checkpoints; they go through the emptiest spot they can find, with no walls, with no fences,” President Trump said.

Maybe Trump is being overly dramatic and maybe he has been watching too many movies, such as Sicario, which is a recent film depicting the horrors of human trafficking. Ballard says that the President is not being overdramatic. The scenes depicted in the movie do not mirror the violence happening at the border.

“What happens to victims is far worse than what you see in Sicario,” Ballard said.

Carter described an encounter with a victim of child sex trafficking, and the horrors a 14-year-old girl faced.

“I can’t even imagine that anybody would even joke about this,” Carter said.

Let’s rethink the conversation we are having about border security, security in general and the proposed border wall. I’m not casting a vote one way or another. That is a decision for law makers to address. However, let’s consider the plight of the innocents who are snatched away from a childhood and thrust into a darkness so obscene and wicked the mind cannot fathom its difficulty.

This article originally appeared in the March 2019 issue of Security Today.

About the Author

Ralph C. Jensen is editor-in-chief of Security Today magazine.

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