On Monday, the Biden administration announced the formation of a new task force to combat the surge in the illicit exploitation of migrant children for labor in the United States. the Associated Press reported.
Over the past five years, there has been a significant rise in the number of companies found in violation of federal labor laws for employing underage workers, with hundreds of businesses employing close to 4,000 children last year alone.
The escalating issue has placed Health and Human Services Secretary Xavier Becerra under intense scrutiny, as apprehensions mount that migrant children are being released from shelters and federal custody prematurely, rendering them susceptible to precarious circumstances that heighten their likelihood of becoming targets of child labor.
According to The New York Times, a recently circulated video shows the secretary urging his staff to expedite the release of children from the government’s flawed shelter system, as reported by the AP.
“If Henry Ford had seen this in his plants, he would have never become famous and rich,” Becerra told staff during a meeting last summer in a recording. “This is not the way you do an assembly line.”
Written by staff