Liz Yore is a child welfare systems expert who has spent 35 years in the field protecting children from exploitation and abuse. She joined Liz Collin Reports this week to discuss the border crisis and the staggering number of minor children lost in the shuffle.
Yore is an international child advocate attorney and served as general counsel of Illinois’s Department of Children and Family Services. She also served as the general counsel and director of the international division for the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children.
“Now to see what’s going on at the border is beyond the pale, beyond anything I could have ever imagined,” Yore said.
She discussed the Heritage Foundation’s recent report that used geotracking data from cellphones to expose Catholic Charities’s involvement in the border crisis.
“What they found was that these people were trafficked, embedded throughout the United States and all 400-plus congressional districts,” she said. “It is a shocking development.”
Yore said the report “finally” lets the public in on where migrants are going once they enter the U.S.
According to Customs and Border Protection, over 266,000 unaccompanied minor children have crossed into the U.S. since the Biden administration took over. These children come from 75 different countries and speak between 50 and 60 different languages.
Yore described these children as “vulnerable orphans,” more vulnerable even than foster care children. For comparison, there are 400,000 foster care children in the U.S., Yore said.
Foster care children are sent to families who have gone through rigorous background checks, home visits, and training. Unaccompanied minors coming across the border almost exclusively end up in homes of illegal migrants with several, sometimes dozens, other minors. Their caretakers often have had no background checks and continue to traffic the children, Yore explained.
“This is a situation fraught with child exploitation. We know human traffickers, sex traffickers, sexual predators … go where the vulnerable children are, and these children are extremely vulnerable,” Yore said.
Project Veritas discovered a home housing 21 minors, and another home housing 44. Yore called this an “absolute catastrophic emergency.”
Catholic Charities and other NGOs like Central Baptist receive federal grant money to take care of minors and adults crossing the border illegally.
“The money these charities are receiving is astronomical,” Yore said. All Catholic organizations combined received $97 million in 2022 alone in federal grants, she said.
Catholic Charities provides an endless amount of resources for people coming across the border, including housing, cash assistance for bills, cellphones, clothing and food stamps, plane tickets, funeral and burial assistance, and infant formula.
“I mean, why wouldn’t they come across the border?” Yore said. “They walk into these centers at the border, and they’re provided a ‘get into the United States free’ card. It’s astonishing what’s going on.”
The crisis places a huge burden on schools, the health care system, and social services, she said.
“We are going to pay for decades as a result of this crisis,” Yore said. “This is the crisis that will shake our culture and society for generations.”
She urged Catholics to stop giving to Catholic Charities and ask their pastors and bishops to object to the conduct of Catholic Charities. She advised all Americans to talk to their legislators about closing off funding to NGOs.
“We need to start shouting from the rooftops that the border needs to be secured, the border needs to be closed,” she said.
Starting at the local level is essential. Federal prosecutions of human trafficking are down 22% this year, Yore said.
“The FBI is too busy talking to Twitter to prosecute cases and investigate cases of child trafficking,” she said.
Catholic Charities officials denied any wrongdoing earlier this month after Republican lawmakers told them to preserve their records.
“As our nation grapples with escalating turmoil at the southwestern border of the United States and a highly charged political environment, it is incredibly disturbing for Catholic Charities — the domestic humanitarian arm of the U.S. Catholic Church — to be accused of violating federal laws, fueling the dramatic increase in migrants crossing the border and inhibiting immigration enforcement by facilitating the transport of migrants to the nation’s interior. These accusations are both fallacious and factually inaccurate. Our life-saving humanitarian work neither violates federal laws nor endangers communities,” the group said in a statement.
“Without the assistance of Catholic Charities and other humanitarian organizations, many migrant families and individuals would be on the streets of our nation’s communities,” the statement continued. “These communities are better equipped to handle large numbers of migrants precisely because of our humanitarian services.”
Find Liz Yore at @elizabethyore on social media, or visit her website at yorechildren.com.