WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Thom Tillis and his colleagues recently introduced the Preventing the Recycling of Immigrants is Necessary for Trafficking Suspension (PRINTS) Act, aimed at combatting child trafficking and exploitation by giving U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) the authority to fingerprint non-citizens under the age of 14.
“There is a serious humanitarian crisis at our Southern border as cartels, coyotes, and other bad actors are exploiting innocent children to cross our border,” said Senator Tillis. “This legislation is a commonsense, humane reform to help prevent innocent children from being trafficked, exploited, and abused.”
Specifically, the PRINTS Act:
- Gives CBP the authority to fingerprint non-citizens under the age of 14 in order to combat trafficking and exploitation;
- Requires the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to publicly report the number of apprehensions in a given month involving child traffickers who falsely claimed that an accompanying child was a relative;
- Requires DHS to submit an annual report to Congress identifying the number of minors who were fingerprinted pursuant to this Act;
- Removes the Attorney General’s authority to waive fingerprinting requirements for those illegally crossing the southern border; and
- Criminalizes child recycling
1 in every 3 human trafficking victims is a child. In 2019, ICE identified 600 children who were “recycled,” with one child being brought across the border as many as eight different times. Recent reports indicate that the Department of Health and Human Services has lost track of over 85,000 children released to sponsors, subjecting these children to exploitation, abuse, and forced labor. Despite these statistics, current DHS regulation and federal law prohibit Border Patrol agents from fingerprinting children under the age of 14.
Text of the bill can be found HERE.