Young Children Crossing the Border

Floor Speech

Date: Feb. 27, 2023
Location: Washington, DC


Mr. GROTHMAN. Mr. Speaker, I would address the same article that one of my Democrat colleagues mentioned earlier today about an article that was published in The New York Times over the weekend addressing what is going on with a segment of some of the people who have come across the border inappropriately over the last few years.

Now, things have changed with the parole policy. We don't know how that is going to shake out. We have multiplied by 11 or 12 times the number of people coming to this country illegally since President Biden took office. We have gone from about 20,000 people a month to just short of 240,000 people a month.

Mr. Speaker, I will address a subset of that population, and that is the young children. Approximately 9,000 to 10,000 unaccompanied minors are coming across our border every month without either parent.

What becomes of these 10,000 children every month who don't have either parent with them?

Well, The New York Times found out what happens to some of them. They wind up working in very dangerous working conditions. That is what happens when you let people cross the border without their parents being able to look out for them.

Mr. Speaker, 10,000 children left to cross the border unaccompanied.

Others, like the little girl referenced in the article in The New York Times, came here with a relative she didn't even know before this--if he really was a relative. This is something that bothers the Border Patrol.

Mr. Speaker, I really wish some of the Democrats would come down to the border and find out what is really going on down there. The Border Patrol and Republicans have been complaining repeatedly about all these unaccompanied minors. In the past when we had to separate parents from their kids for 2 weeks, for a month--and I believe there was only a total of about 4,000 kids there--the Democrats were screaming bloody murder.

How dare you separate these people from their parents for even a couple weeks.

Now we have children, over 120,000 last year, separated from their parents, perhaps permanently, and that is at least 120,000.

The Border Patrol feels that sometimes when people are bringing children across the border, they are only pretending to be their parents.

Sometimes the Border Patrol does DNA checks, and they find still more children who are being separated from their parents.

We wish they had the time and the money to do DNA tests on all the parents because I am sure The New York Times number is actually greater than that.

Then they are spread around the country. We would not allow that for our children, right? If somebody from this country--and what they do, so you understand, is the children show up at the southern border with an address--maybe it is written on their shirt or something--I want to go to 123 Elm Street, Portland, Oregon. Our U.S. Government will deliver them to 123 Elm Street, Portland, Oregon, even though neither parent is there, even though we haven't done thorough checks on the people who are there.

We have no idea--we do, we have some idea, but not enough of an idea, who these young kids are being told they have to live with.

Interestingly, The New York Times and my colleague on the other side of the aisle, they are concerned about the working conditions, but they mention nothing at all about the fact that these children are separated from their parents--neither parent. Isn't that something that should be a concern?

I realize you are the party of Black Lives Matter, Black Lives Matter, we condemn the nuclear family, da, da, da, da, da.

I assure you: A child is better off with its parents, better off with both its parents, and this idea that apparently it is okay to let children cross the southern border if only they have a nice job when they are 16 years old is ridiculous. The United States ought not to be part of breaking up these families.

Now, the other thing I would like to point out that The New York Times doesn't mention at all: A lot of times kids show up at the southern border with a single parent.

In this country, if there is a divorce, we do what we can to try to make sure the child has some experience or contact with both parents.

I am sure the Central American countries would like it. I am told by the Border Patrol the Central American countries do not like the Biden policy of having young people come here, because they feel they are losing their future. They don't want to have all their young people come to this country.

I realize that Biden is all about, you know, changing America, getting apparently as many people here as quickly as possible, from far away as possible. We don't care if the parents are separated.

Believe me--and just a little bit of racism here, maybe--in this country, we would not want one parent taking a child without the other parent signing off and moving to another country or moving to a different part of this country.

Apparently, when it comes to children from Latin America, the Biden administration and The New York Times is okay with that.

I intend to hold hearings in my subcommittee. Please look out for the children at the southern border.