Biden Ends Program Focused on Removing Sex Offenders Living Illegally in the United States

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody, along with 17 other state attorney generals, is urging Biden to “reverse the decision to end a federal enforcement action targeting convicted sex offenders in the country illegally.”

Operation Talon is a nationwide operation that focuses on removing convicted sex offenders illegally living here. It is conducted by the  U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcements. Attorney General Ashley Moody said,

“The reversal of a federal enforcement operation created to prevent the molestation, rape and sex trafficking of women, men and children is extremely concerning to me. As Attorney General, not a day goes by where I am not focused on how to end sex trafficking, especially the rape and torture of children—which, as a mother, disgusts me. It should also disgust President Biden, and that is why I am calling on his administration to immediately reinstate Operation Talon, to protect vulnerable populations from sexual abuse and help us end the disturbing epidemic of human trafficking in this country.”

The 17 attorney generals sent a letter addressed to Biden, Secretary Mayorkas, and Acting Director Johnson. In it, they presented sobering facts about the implications of Biden’s decision.

…An increasing number of illegal aliens are entering the United States after having been previously convicted of sexual offenses. Based on available data, in 2017, one percent of illegal aliens arrested by U.S. Border Patrol had prior convictions for sexual offenses.(5) In 2020, that number rose to six percent.(6) Again, given the limited data, these figures likely greatly understate the actual incidence of such prior convictions by illegal entrants. These illegal entries by convicted sexual predators have an ongoing impact on the nationwide population of illegally present sex offenders. In fiscal year 2018 alone, ICE arrested at least 3,716 criminal aliens in the United States who had a prior conviction for a sexual offense. (7)

Later in the letter they go into painful detail about what trafficking is like.

…A 2019 investigation by the New York Times found more than 100 documented reports of sexual assault of migrant women along the border in the past two decades-a number that certainly “only skims the surface” of a vast problem. (8) In July 2019, a 23-year-old Honduran woman told authorities that she was sexually assaulted by a smuggler who had helped her and her sister cross into the South Texas city of Mission.(9) In 2014, a 36-year-old Guatemalan mother of three was held captive for weeks, drugged with pills and cocaine, and repeatedly raped by the smugglers she paid to bring her to the United States.(10) “They raped us so many times they didn’t see us as human beings any more,” she said of her captors.(11) “The stories are many, and yet all too similar,” the New York Times report stated.(12) “Undocumented women making their way into American border towns have been beaten for disobeying smugglers, impregnated by strangers, coerced into prostitution, shackled to beds and trees and . . . bound with duct tape, rope or handcuffs.” (13) The study “suggest[ s] that sexual violence has become an inescapable part of the collective migrant journey.”(14) Enforcement decisions that encourage people to place themselves at high risk of sexual predation cannot stand as the United States’ policy.

They explain the relationship between human trafficking and illegal entry into the U.S.

Sex trafficking within the United States afflicts the community of unlawful immigrants with particular vehemence. The National Human Trafficking Hotline reports that the overwhelming majority of victims of sex and/or labor trafficking in the United States were foreign nationals, not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents. For cases in which citizenship status was known, 77.5 percent of trafficking victims (4,601 out of 5,939) were not U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents.(23) The Hotline identifies “Recent Migration/Relocation” as a critical risk factor or vulnerability for human trafficking.(24)

8 Manny Fernandez, ‘You Have to Pay With Your Body: The Hidden Nightmare of Sexual Violence on the Border, N.Y. TIMES (March 3, 2019), at
https://www .nytimes.corn/2019/03/03/us/border-rapes-migrant-women.html.
9 Id.
10 Id.
11 Id.
12 Id.
13 Id.
14 Id.
23 Id.
24 Id.