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by Sharon Rondeau

(Sep. 13, 2023) — As of 10:39 a.m. EDT, former DHS agent and protagonist in the box-office top-billed film “Sound of Freedom” Tim Ballard was testifying to the House Homeland Security Committee on the subject of child-trafficking over the U.S. southern border.

The hearing can be watched live here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rPhbaOTSzHc

Titled, “An Unbearable Price: The Devastating Human Costs of the Biden-Mayorkas Border Crisis,” the hearing of the full committee was announced by Chairman Mark Green (R-TN7) on September 6.

The next witness, Ms. Cantu, is the wife of a Border Patrol agent who she said became increasingly withdrawn after he dealt with a variety of problems associated with illegal migrations over the U.S. southern border over a period of time. Her husband’s change in mood and affect negatively impacted their marriage, she said, and in general can lead to alcoholism and other ills, she claimed.

Ms. Snodgrass, who testified next, is from Alaska and had a son who “became forever 22” after he took fentanyl, which is known to be smuggled across the border en masse and killing tens of thousands of young people, particularly over the last few years.

Among other things, Snodgrass advocated for “Bruce’s Law,” named after her son, to educate the public on the dangerous drugs in circulation.

The ACLU’s Mr. Gelernt testified next, expressing criticism of the Trump administration’s “family separation” policy wherein children were “traumatized” by being “taken away” by federal agents after crossing the border.

Gelernt said the “painful chapter” in the nation’s history should never be permitted to recur.

Following Gelernt’s testimony, Green questioned Ballard, asking if DHS Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas is “facilitating trafficking” over the border, to which Ballard responded, “Yes.”

Green then questioned Gelernt, who he stated was “brought here to talk about policies today” rather than past administrations. Gelernt’s complaint, Green said, concerned 5,500 children, while today 85,000 children are “missing.” He asked if as with the Trump administration, the ACLU will sue the Biden administration over “removing the background checks” on sponsors of unaccompanied children coming over the border, which he said has resulted in children exploited in forced labor “in this country.”

Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS), the ranking member, was then recognized for questioning the witnesses. Addressing Ms. Cantu, Thompson said he, too, is concerned about the “mental health” of federal employees and that the issue “has nothing to do with party.”

Thompson chaired the former Select Committee to Investigate the January 6th Attack on the United States Capitol, recommending to the Justice Department the criminal prosecution of 45th President Donald J. Trump. His recommendation led to the appointment of Special Counsel Jack Smith, who in August charged Trump with “conspiracy to defraud the United States,” among other alleged violations associated with the January 6, 2021 incursion at the U.S. Capitol.

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