A New York Times front-page expose by Hannah Dreier on Sunday tore the lid off the scandal of underage migrant workers being used as illegal child labor: “Alone and Exploited, Migrant Children Work Brutal Jobs Across the U.S..”
The online headline deck: “Arriving in record numbers, they’re ending up in dangerous jobs that violate child labor laws -- including in factories that make products for well-known brands like Cheetos and Fruit of the Loom.”
The Times was in full moral meltdown mode. But the paper’s condemnation was conveniently off-target: Where was Biden?
It was almost midnight in Grand Rapids, Mich., but inside the factory everything was bright. A conveyor belt carried bags of Cheerios past a cluster of young workers. One was 15-year-old Carolina Yoc, who came to the United States on her own last year to live with a relative she had never met….The factory was full of underage workers like Carolina, who had crossed the Southern border by themselves and were now spending late hours bent over hazardous machinery, in violation of child labor laws….
Dreier called Yoc “part of a new economy of exploitation: Migrant children, who have been coming into the United States without their parents in record numbers…”
….This labor force has been slowly growing for almost a decade, but it has exploded since 2021, while the systems meant to protect children have broken down.
Check the year mentioned above: 2021. Who was president then? And why isn’t Biden mentioned?
The Times is fretting about this migrant crisis without suggesting a single hint of blame toward the actual people in charge of immigration; namely, the Biden Administration’s welcoming messages to illegal immigrants and the resulting surge of unaccompanied children crossing the border.
There are some jabs at the Department of Health and Human Services, but virtually none at Biden himself, whose name is mentioned a mere three times in this 5,200-word investigation. Trump was of course blamed for everything that happened on his watch, include putting migrant children in “cages” (cages built during the previous Obama administration).
The reporter left another overly subtle clue as to which administration is responsible for the wave of underage migrants now working illegally.
The number of unaccompanied minors entering the United States climbed to a high of 130,000 last year -- three times what it was five years earlier -- and this summer is expected to bring another wave.
And who was president then? Donald Trump, whose immigration policies were constantly condemned in the Times.
The reporter snuck in this significant detail from Guatemala:
Child labor is the norm in rural Guatemala, and she herself had started working around the second grade.
While the Biden administration was barely mentioned in the Times, it was actually lauded on the PBS NewsHour Tuesday night for addressing the problem (that they caused). Host Geoff Bennett introduced his Dreier interview: “The Biden administration announced new steps today to crack down on child labor violations, including tougher investigations of the companies who may benefit from the work.”
Dreier later gave Biden a pat on the back, also without acknowledging it was he who set the problem in motion.
….With this new Biden initiative, the Department of Labor is going to launch a new operation to go out, not just respond to tips, but go actively try to search for these kids. And you know the same staffing issues that have been there will be there. But I think a lot of people who work with these children are celebrating that part of the announcement, at least, today.
An email from the (UK) Spectator with the pungent subject line “Kids out of cages… and into factories” introduced Roger Kimball’s take: “….the stark unpleasant fact that the whole crisis that the Times deplores is the creation of the Biden administration.”