Jared Culver's Picture
Department of Justice


  by  Jared Culver

Modern slavery continues in the United States as the border crisis is exposed as the current slave trade pipeline. A Georgia couple, Efrain Gonzalez, 40, and Estella Gonzalez, 34, were indicted on 16 counts, including labor trafficking conspiracy, forced labor, and alien smuggling. The couple forced foreign victims to work at two restaurants. For all the talk of how we just need more legal pathways to work, tens of thousands of parolees and asylum seekers with employment authorization from the Biden Administration are not reversing the growing child and forced labor across the country. This, despite Biden also doubling H-2B visas, which this couple would have been eligible to apply for if they sought legal workers. Rather than a worker shortage, I think we have an honest employer shortage.

These tragic captive labor stories seem to have the same fact pattern. The indictment alleges use of force, threats of force, and abuse of law and legal process to force vulnerable migrants to work for profit. McDonald's franchisees were recently caught using [link url="https://www.cnbc.com/2023/05/03/mcdonalds-franchisees-fined-over-child-l..." title="child labor" target="_blank"]child labor]/link] with kids as young as ten. What in the world is happening in this country with employers exploiting every worker they can get their hands on while demanding ever higher numbers of immigrant workers?

Worker exploitation is becoming as routine as the daily footage of chaos at the border. These dueling crises are inextricably linked. As more vulnerable foreign workers stream into the country desperate for work, the apparent hordes of unscrupulous employers are descending on them like locusts.

It is difficult to believe that the Biden Administration's constant evocations of humanity and sympathy for migrants can lead to such brutality in the real world. We are nearing the point where it beggars belief that this is simply the product of unintended consequences. President Biden and his Secretary of Health and Human Services have been revealed to be knowingly trafficking children and firing staff who tried to stop them. Meanwhile, labor trafficking is making billionaires of dangerous drug cartels as they press forward opening the border more to their slave trade.

How much longer will the media and policy makers take seriously the complaints about a supposed labor shortage from slavers, wage thieves, and child labor enthusiasts? Can I get a number on how many worker exploitation examples we need before we hit the expiration date for this worker shortage canard? The tech industry is in the middle of massive layoffs while simultaneously breaking records for H-1B applications. Discrimination against American workers in favor of recruiting temporary foreign workers continues unabated.

When do we start treating the worker shortage/mass migration crowd with as much seriousness as the people who claim the Earth is flat? More importantly, when do we treat the growing worker exploitation crisis with the gravity it deserves? Does the 13th Amendment mean anything? Do our labor laws now mean as little to the Biden Administration as immigration law? Current lack of enforcement of immigration and labor laws are enabling the enrichment of transnational criminal organizations at the expense of vulnerable migrants and American workers. It is time to tell the employers to try following the law instead of asking the country to sacrifice for their profit margin.

JARED CULVER is a Legal Analyst for NumbersUSA

Updated: Thu, Jun 15th 2023 @ 3:30am EDT

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