An unsecured U.S.-Mexico border endangers American children by assisting Mexican drug cartels engaged in child sex-trafficking, explained Joseph Travers, founder of Saved in America , in a Thursday interview on SiriusXM's Breitbart News Daily with host Alex Marlow.
Saved in America is a volunteer organization composed of retired military personnel and law enforcement who help authorities find and rescue missing children.
Unsecured regions of the southern border have become major child sex-trafficking routes, Travers explained.
"The second-largest child sex-trafficking corridor sector is San Diego County because the largest trafficking sector is San Diego County. Texas is number one," he said.
"So you're with me that a secure border is actually a humanitarian thing because it does keep kids safer?" Marlow asked.
"Absolutely. One hundred percent," Travers responded.
Human trafficking — including child sex-trafficking — is a criminal enterprise dominated by transnational drug cartels, Travers said. He recalled his organization's role in assisting the recovery of a 14-year-old American girl in Mexico who had been abducted by a Mexican gang member and smuggled across the southern border.
"A 29-year-old gang member affiliated with the Mexican mafia got ahold of [the 14-year-old American girl] and her social networking through one of her friends and saw that the young girl was posting [about] her problems," Travers said. "[He] befriended her, unbeknownst to [her] mom, and this person lured her. [He] told her, 'You need to come with me. I'll take care of you,' and [made] all these promises … and [spoke of] how much affection he had for her. So one day the mom went to go take the 14-year-old to school, the window was open, and she was gone. He had plied her up with drugs and taken her down to Mexico, and we had to find her in Mexico and coordinate her rescue, and now he's in jail."
Travers linked his professional background as a Los Angeles police officer to his decision to found Saved in America.
"My background is obviously police investigation and private investigation," Travers said. "The motivation for us to do this is, as the founder, I was listening to [the story of a] young girl named Brittanee Drexel from upstate New York that went missing, and I was wondering, 'What happened?' and I knew from working narcotics in Los Angeles that there formed what we'll call an evil triad of street gang members, prison gang members, and the cartel that took over the narcotics-trafficking trade in this country."
Around 2009, "this same triad decided to take over child sex-trafficking," Travers explained. "Right after that, I read an article about United States Navy SEALs overseas rescuing children. So I got a hold of these guys and I said, 'Hey, why don't you come out here and we'll put cops together with special operators, and for free, we'll go help find these children?’"
"The way kids are taken in this country, it's not like the movie Taken ," Traver said. "These gang members and gang member recruiters lure young girls through social media networking away from their homes and ply them up with drugs, up to and including heroin. And that's how they traffic our children."
"It's coercion," he said. "They're coerced." He cited a study conducted in San Diego County which showed that "there's at least one gang member recruiter or trafficker in every middle school and high school" in the county.
Child predators often use social media to target vulnerable young girls from troubled backgrounds, Travers explained.
"They look for a young girl who might be going through some type of trauma, like [parental] divorce, a death in the family, a break-up with a friend or something. Then … they befriend the child [via] social networking and social networking applications to have conversations with the child that the parent has no idea [are occurring], and then one day the parent goes to get the child to take them to school, and the child's gone. They're missing."
Forensic analysis of missing children's internet behavior is critical in determining the nature of their disappearances, Travers said. "It appears to the normal police officer is that it's a runaway, but in fact, the answer lies in the social networking of the child, that she was seduced outside of the family and that's how they traffic them."
Travers highlighted the volume of missing children — including those being trafficked — across America.
"This is a problem across the country," determined Travers. "According to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children , there [are] about 300,000 missing children in our country at any one time. Now, if you take another statistic that 30 to 40 percent of these 300,000 children are being trafficked — we're talking 100,000 children in our country [who] are being sex-trafficked, who are being enslaved by organized crime."
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