Senator Ted Cruz (R-TX) has caused a minor controversy with his July 25th tweet and further appearances of the tweet's content on news channels. Cruz's tweet explains Biden's inability to ensure border security is the primary reason for Mexican cartels being allowed to openly import drugs and sex trade victims to America.
The fact that cartels profit from teenagers and young women in facilitating sex trafficking is not a secret. On the 15th of July, Cruz commented:
“We heard multiple reports of something, I’ll be candid, I had never heard of before until today — something called a rape tree, which are trees where the traffickers would violently rape young women and then hang their undergarments in the tree as a trophy,” Cruz said on Friday.”
“According to Amnesty International, about 60% of the women and girls who make the trek to the U.S.-Mexico border are raped.”
A Border Patrol agent wrote in 2019:
I summited at midday and walked aimlessly in the shadows of granite domes that ran along the ridgeline like the spine of some slumbering monster. A turkey vulture hovered on a thermal, passing in and out of Mexico with seeming disregard for international boundaries. All around me the mountainsides sparkled in the sunlight from the rubbish discarded by clandestine border crossers—Red Bull energy cans and Pedialyte baby bottles; children’s backpacks and Mexican water jugs. Among the hastily discarded objects were others on deliberate display. More than once on patrol, I had stumbled upon desert altars full of votive candles, rosary beads, and prayer cards commemorating Juan Soldado, patron saint of undocumented immigrants, and Jesús Malverde, patron saint of drug smugglers.
This time, I came upon a velvet mesquite tree draped in women’s lingerie. Faded pink bras and lacy black panties drooped from the twisted limbs. The Border Patrol calls these “rape trees.” It’s difficult to know whether these displays are merely symbolic of a woman’s vulnerability in this place or are the actual trophies of sexual violence. Either way, women who understand the risks of this desert sometimes ingest morning-after pills before even attempting to cross.
The Trump Administration made combating human trafficking a top concern. While trying to minimize the efforts of President Trump, mainstream media grudgingly acknowledged Trump for taking action directly.
President Donald Trump’s anti-human trafficking stance has become a hallmark of his administration. Daughter and adviser Ivanka Trump has spurred the president’s investment in anti-trafficking measures since the beginning of his term. She called trafficking an “ugly stain on civilization” at the unveiling of the Trafficking in Persons report at the State Department in 2017, according to CNN.
Ivanka Trump’s work to mitigate human trafficking globally is also well-documented, from a meeting with survivors in Italy to her influence in the Oval Office.
What has the Biden Administration accomplished? Chad Wolf and Bill Woolf from the conservative think tank America First Policy Institute stated in January 2022 that this administration is MIA regarding the issue.
The southwest border has essentially become a “feeding zone” for traffickers, and the Biden Administration has only made it easier for them to gain access to these children. Because effective border security measures were eliminated in the early days of the Biden Administration, smugglers have effectively persuaded migrant children and parents that they had a better chance of being allowed to stay in the US now than under President Trump.
There are legal options for illegal immigrants who are forced into the sex industry to obtain freedom, a Harvard Law writer noted in 2018.
The T visa, a special visa to protect victims of trafficking was created in October 2000 with the passing of the Victims of Trafficking and Violence Protection Act. There are 5,000 of these visas available on an annual basis. This would seem promising, but it is a significantly under-utilized process. According to the United States Citizenship and Immigration statistics, only around 500 – 600 of these visas are granted each year. In addition, the burden of proof can be on the trafficked victim and there are a number of requirements to qualify. This often includes testifying against their trafficker, something that can be terrifying for these individuals.
T visas are also temporary, only lasting for four years. Although individuals can apply for a green card after the third year, that process is also under-utilized and slow.
It's difficult to determine which is worse: the cartels who illegally bring teenagers and young women to the US to be sexually assaulted or the males who are doing the sexual abuse. Trump has proposed that the death penalty is a reasonable punishment for drug dealers, as is the case in other nations. Maybe the same is true for sex traffickers, though public castration of anyone found to be paying for sex with a trafficking victim sounds like justice as well.