Hawley Demands Probe DHS Allegedly Ignoring Child Exploitation

Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) has demanded an investigation into whistleblower allegations that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has removed special agents from investigations into child exploitation at the southern border to instead “facilitate immigration processing” and even “hand out sandwiches” to illegal aliens.

Hawley’s demands came in a letter to DHS Inspector General Joseph Cuffari, where he explained that there should be “an immediate investigation into whistleblower allegations that the DHS has shut down or delayed investigations into child exploitation and other crimes in order to transfer hundreds of special agents to process illegal immigrants at the southern border.”

The whistleblowers specifically claim that agents “are being told to shut down investigations to hand out sandwiches and escort migrants to the shower,” according to a quote included in Hawley’s letter.

“On October 31, 2023, I questioned Secretary of Homeland Security Alejandro Mayorkas before the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee (HSGAC) regarding whistleblower allegations that he removed 600 Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents from felony investigations to facilitate immigration processing functions at the southern border. According to the whistleblower, agents ‘are being told to shut down investigations to hand out sandwiches and escort migrants to the shower,’” Hawley wrote.

The Missouri senator went on to explain that these actions “led to child exploitation suspects and fentanyl dealers evading indictment.”

He pointed out that Mayorkas, upon being asked whether special agents had been removed from these cases to be reassigned to the border, claimed that the agents were sent to the border to assist in “the fight against fentanyl.”

However, Hawley explained that three additional whistleblowers had contacted his office to refute Mayorkas’ claims.

“One alleged that Secretary Mayorkas was ‘absolutely lying’ and that agents were not, in fact, being reassigned to investigate fentanyl cases,” he wrote in the letter. “The whistleblower corroborated the claim that there have been at least 600 agents at a given time reassigned to the border. A third whistleblower claims that he was also reassigned to the border to ‘babysit’ illegal immigrants; his duties included holding doors for private contractors who prepared the sandwiches for illegal immigrants, who were ‘fed better than my kids.’”

Hawley also noted that “some of the whistleblowers” had alleged that a significant portion of their time was “spent on ‘stand-by,’ as offices at the border were not expecting their arrival.”

According to the Republican senator, the most concerning element of all of the whistleblowers’ allegations is that “important criminal investigations [were] stalled and suspects were not arrested or indicted as a result of these reassignments.”

“Agents were pulled from investigations ranging from child exploitation to drug trafficking to counterterrorism,” he explained, noting that one whistleblower had reported being removed from child exploitation cases “that haunt your soul when you aren’t available” to fight to rescue the children.

In his letter, Hawley specifically demanded Cuffari report exactly how many DHS agents were reassigned to help move illegal aliens into the U.S. and how many of them were forced to halt investigations into criminal activity and child exploitation to do so.