Timothy Ballard: “I’ve fought sex trafficking as a DHS special agent – We need to build the wall for the children”
As a former Department of Homeland Security (DHS) special agent on the southern border who fought sex trafficking for over a decade, I can say with certainty that the issue of the border wall should be not about power and partisan politics. It should be about the children – the tens of thousands of them who have been and are being trafficked into the U.S. and forced into the commercial sex trade.
Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal enterprise on the planet, with millions of child victims stuck in its clutches. Indeed, this is no peripheral issue – this alone should be front and center in our border and immigration debate.
I spent over 12 years working as a special agent/undercover operator for Homeland Security Investigations in the Child Crimes/Child Trafficking unit. For a decade of that service, I was stationed at the border office in Calexico, California. Based on my extensive experience fighting transnational crime along the southern border, I know that we should absolutely finish building the wall for the sake of the children.
The U.S. is one of the highest, if not the highest, consumers of child sex. As such, traffickers know they will become very wealthy by getting their enslaved children into our country. We do these traffickers a great favor by leaving our border virtually wide open.
We should stop seeing the border wall as something that would keep the “bad guys” out – though it would certainly help do that too. We must instead focus on its ability to prevent children from being brought in to become sex slaves. The wall would undoubtedly be a significant barrier to entrance into the black market of child sex trafficking, thus decreasing kidnappers and traffickers’ incentives in the first place.
For those children who are still kidnapped, the wall would provide hope.
Roughly 10,000 children are being smuggled into the U.S. every year to be sold as sex slaves – we owe it to them to finish this wall and protect them from the monsters within.