Sen. Marsha Blackburn Introduces Bill to Stop Human Traffickers from ‘Recycling’ Children with Sen. Katie Britt

Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) introduced a bill with Senator Katie Britt (R-AL) to combat the alleged recycling of illegal immigrant children at the southern border. The bill would empower U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) to fingerprint non-citizens under the age of 14.

With a database of children taken into the country illegally, the senators’ Preventing the Recycling of Immigrants is Necessary for Trafficking Suspension (PRINTS) Act would then require CBP to “publicly report the number of apprehensions in a given month involving child traffickers who falsely claimed that an accompanying child was a relative and submit an annual report to Congress identifying the number of minors who were fingerprinted” due to the legislation.

The legislators said the law would also remove Attorney General Merrick Garland’s authority to remove the fingerprinting requirement and make it illegal to repeatedly smuggle a child into the United States for the purpose of receiving different treatment from authorities.

In a statement published by Britt’s office, Blackburn blamed President Joe Biden and his “open border policies” for “a devastating humanitarian crisis” in which “children are the primary victims.” She said the bill will prevent human traffickers and smugglers from “using a child again and again,” and “stop this abuse in its tracks.”

Britt added that the Biden administration “continues to turn a blind eye to the tragic human costs of its reckless agenda,” and noted Senate Republicans “are offering commonsense solutions to do just that.”

“Recycling” children was highlighted by CBP in 2019 when the agency reported U.S. Border Patrol agents working in El Paso identified “at least one local case in which children are possibly being recycled and forced to undertake the treacherous journal from Central America to the United States.”

According to a press release published at the time, an agent “noticed several inconsistencies” during an interview “that led him to suspect the child and the alleged parent were not related,” and they were able to eventually “gain enough evidence to determine that the child had been ‘recycled’ in at least two prior instances.”

This means the child was forced to cross from Mexico into the United States at least three times. In March, it was reported that authorities documented the deaths of at least 8,000 illegal immigrants who died during the journey. Many succumb to extreme heat, drownings, and falls.

Of the remains discovered by authorities, 12 were determined to be less than 12 years old when they died, while 216 were determined to be aged between 13 and 19 at death.

As the total number of illegal immigrant crossings spikes under the Biden administration, the number of deaths appears to be rising in tandem. Last year, it was reported that 853 illegal immigrants died while crossing into the United States from October 2021 to October 2022.

Anthony Porvaznik, then-chief patrol agent in Yuma, Arizona described the child “recycling” in 2019 as minors “being rented, for lack of a better word,” to cross the border while arousing minimal suspicion. During a round table with former President Donald Trump around that time, one agent described a Guatemalan woman admitting to “recycling” children for $1,500 per child.

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Tom Pappert is the lead reporter for The Tennessee Star, and also reports for The Georgia Star News, The Virginia Star, and the Arizona Sun Times. Follow Tom on X/Twitter. Email tips to [email protected].





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