(CNSNews.com) – The founder of an organization that combats child trafficking said Friday that human traffickers take advantage of the United States’ open borders to smuggle children into the country and force them to have sex for money.
Timothy Ballard, founder and CEO of Operation Underground Railroad, was one of several people to speak at the White House on Friday about human trafficking. He told the story of a 13-year-old girl who was smuggled into the U.S. to New York City and forced into prostitution.
“I spent 12 years as a special agent, as an undercover operator, working on the southern border, working sex trafficking cases,” Ballard said, “and I can tell you, you're exactly right,” about the importance of a border wall.
“One little girl I can tell you about. In fact, I introduced this little girl to Ms. Trump during a private briefing. This little girl was kidnapped in Central America – 11 years old, groomed for two years with the intent of getting her ready to come to America. Why? Because we are the highest-consuming nation of child pornography. We are the clientele that's the big money,” he said.
“They brought this little girl through a part of the southern border where there was no wall, easily got her to New York City, and this is hard to hear, but this is the truth, and everyone needs to hear this. This little girl -- and this is very typical -- raped for money every day, 30 to 40 times a day. If that's not a crisis, if that's not an emergency, I don’t know what is,” Ballard said.
He said if there had been a wall – a barrier – “this little girl likely would have been saved, because the traffickers would have been forced to take this child through the port of entry where we have amazing law enforcement.”
Ballard said he’s worked with Customs and Border Patrol, and they’re “the best people on the planet. They can detect. They have equipment. They have trained agents.”
“In contrast, while this was happening, I was working another case - a little boy -- a Mexican boy who was kidnapped by an American trafficker, by a child pornographer. He kidnapped Mexican children, brought them to San Bernardino County, where he had a makeshift studio, made child porn with these little children - five years old,” Ballard said.
“This little boy was kidnapped in Mexicali, Mexico, where there was a wall, where there is a barrier, and so he was forced to take this little boy through the Calexico port of entry, and guess what? It worked. We captured him. We rescued the little boy, and subsequently rescued 12 other children in San Bernardino, California,” he said.
“The difference between those two cases is two plus two equals four,” Ballard said. “The wall was a difference. The wall rescued this little boy, and the lack of a wall caused this little girl to go through a hell that is indescribable, that is not manufactured. It is a real crisis. It is a real emergency.”