The crisis at the southern border is a humanitarian, legal and economic catastrophe.
One thing it isn’t is an attempt by corporate America to use the influx as a source of cheap child labor, as the Biden administration is trying to spin yet another policy mess of its own making.
That’s right, of its own making.
Like inflation, stoked by Sleepy Joe’s mindless and excessive spending. Or like the botched withdrawal from Afghanistan, and a lot more.
As the Trump-era immigration restrictions known as Title 42 are lifted, the country’s economic infrastructure is cratering, as we see daily in excruciating detail with ever more successive waves of migrants pouring across our border.
They come to this country penniless and hungry, thus they strain vital services.
Their children will show up at schools without a basic understanding of English.
They will need medical care.
And they will seek work — and not just the adults.
If you know how immigrant families work, children will pitch in as they’ve done for decades.
And they will do so often using phony documentation, like their parents, in order to slide through the porous US immigration system.
Phony IDs can be easily purchased through the immigrant networks frequently run by cartels that bring the migrants to the US illegally.
Adults and kids will get jobs because the US government’s check on whether you are in this country legally — or if you are who you say you are — is a broken-down relic that has been a national disgrace for years.
It’s called E-Verify. It’s run by the Department of Homeland Security and it’s so easily duped that even children are doing so.
You just buy a fake ID and Social Security number, both stolen from living and even dead people. Voila! You’re someone else.
The cartels and other criminals are apparently good at finding and selling this stuff. Kids magically become adults; they can and do work at dangerous jobs meant for adults to help their families survive.
It should be yet another disgrace for the Biden administration since our immigration system is more broken than it’s ever been.
But these are the same folks who never let a crisis go to waste.
Faux Dickensian tragedy
They’ve decided not to show some contrition and fix the border or even E-Verify; instead they’ve decided to turn the migrant crisis into a faux Dickensian tragedy of massive child-labor abuses by corporate America.
Case in point: Sleepy Joe’s Department of Labor conducted a sting operation of a company known as PSSI that operates mainly in the Midwest and South.
PSSI supplies workers to perform the menial, often backbreaking work of cleaning animal remains and blood from meat processing plants.
The sting found, not shockingly, 100-plus children under the age of 18 working for PSSI with fake IDs that allowed them to pass for adults. Most appalling, the sting found that kids as young as 13 were PSSI employees.
Yes, this is brutal work and not for children.
The cleanup involves spraying down slaughterhouses with water at super-high temperatures to kill germs.
Some of the children sustained injuries in the process, the investigation found.
The probe also found that the children were doing these jobs at the behest of their parents who needed the money to pay the rent, eat and God knows what else.
Again, seems like something that might cause the White House to re-impose Title 42, maybe deport families back to Mexico. Or fix E-Verify.
Instead, the Biden people went into crisis mode, publicizing how they found a bunch of Oliver Twists working in sweatshops and bashing Blackstone, the big private equity firm that owns PSSI, as a modern-day robber baron.
It was a twofer that turned into a three-fer when you consider Blackstone is run by GOP megadonor Steve Schwarzman.
The progressive media loved the story, of course. “60 Minutes” did a blowout last weekend. What could be more scintillating than Wall Streeters getting richer from immigrant child labor?
Nothing, I suppose, which is why the breathless media coverage left out some important details that might make this less of a corporate scandal, and more of a scandal involving Biden immigration policy.
Watch the “60 Minutes” piece and you don’t hear much that these children and their parents are often here illegally. You barely heard that there’s no real incentive for PSSI to hire kids; entry-level wages for everyone start at around $20 an hour, plus health benefits, etc.
Also barely addressed: The parents and the cartels want the kids to work so they can repay the illegal entries.
You certainly don’t hear how immigrants are teeming across the southern border because stopping them would mean angering the far-left open-border wing of the Democratic Party.
Blackstone and PSSI get beat up a lot — and yes, a bunch of it is warranted.
Let’s be clear, kids shouldn’t be doing the stuff that PSSI does; the company deservedly paid a $1.5 million fine to settle the matter with Labor Department.
But PSSI is mandated under law to rely on the flimsy E-Verify to screen job applicants. People at Blackstone tell me it’s nearly illegal to deny work to someone who passes through the background check even if they look young. It’s called the “over-documentation clause” in federal employment law.
Maybe most absurd: The DOL personnel interviewed by “60 Minutes” sounded like they thought E-Verify was owned by Donald Trump, not operated by the Biden White House.
Not once did “60 Minutes” ask the Biden DOL officials why they didn’t simply walk over to Homeland Security and ask the folks there to fix their broken E-Verify system.
However, I did, via emails and calls for comment. Still no answer, and I don’t expect any.