Press Releases

Burgess Leads Republicans to Prevent Child Trafficking

Washington, D.C. – Congressman Michael C. Burgess, M.D. (R-TX) is leading Republicans to protect Unaccompanied Alien Children (UAC) from being trafficked throughout our country by introducing H.R. 8490, the Protecting an Alien child’s Reasonable Expectation of No Trafficking, or PARENT, Act of 2022.

“My first trip to our southern border was in 2014 where I witnessed firsthand the horror of children being trafficked,” said Burgess. “Nearly a decade later, when I visited the border in June 2022, I learned from Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) that UACs are being released to non-parent relatives or supposed family friends based on guidance from the Department of Homeland Security. Not only is this illegal under current law, but it is also dangerous for unaccompanied children and perpetuates the pull of human trafficking.”

“We are seeing record numbers of unlawful immigrants entering this country. In June 2022, there were over 207,000 encounters along the southwest border, including over 14,000 UACs. These unaccompanied children are being used as pawns by the cartels and human traffickers. It is critical that Congress protects them by prohibiting the CBP from releasing UACs to anyone other than their verified parent, legal guardian, or the Department of Health of Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement.

“The PARENT Act would reduce the demand for human trafficking. I am grateful for my fellow members joining me in this fight.”

The PARENT Act would prohibit CBP from releasing a UAC to anyone other than:

  • The Health and Human Services Office of Refugee Resettlement
  • A verified parent
  • A legal guardian

Burgess was joined by Congressman Dan Crenshaw (R-TX), Congresswoman Mayra Flores (R-TX), Congressman Brian Babin (R-TX), Congressman Daniel Meuser (R-PA), Congressman Randy Weber (R-TX), Congressman Van Taylor (R-TX), and Congressman Roger Williams (R-TX).