‘Sound of Freedom’ hero Tim Ballard joins Rep. Smith in introducing new legislation that requires the Biden Administration to find the 85,000 migrant children it has lost contact with in the US
Ballard to testify at Smith hearing on Thursday
At a press conference on Capitol Hill today, “Sound of Freedom” hero Tim Ballard joined Rep. Chris Smith (R-NJ), a longtime leader in the fight against human trafficking, to introduce new legislation that requires the Biden Administration to locate the 85,000 unaccompanied migrant children it has lost contact with in the United States.
“The Biden Administration must be held accountable for its failed open border policies that have put tens of thousands of children in grave danger and at great risk of death, child sexual exploitation and abuse,” said Rep. Smith, who has authored five laws to combat human trafficking, including the nation’s landmark Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000.
Smith’s new bill—the Safeguarding Endangered Children, Unaccompanied and at Risk of Exploitation (SECURE) Act of 2023—compels the Biden Administration to report on its efforts to locate, establish contact with, conduct wellness checks on, and investigate any suspicion of human trafficking related to the approximately 85,000 unaccompanied migrant children released from federal custody without continued official contact. Smith said he drafted the legislation in collaboration with Roger Severino of The Heritage Foundation and Eduardo Verastegui, the producer of “Sound of Freedom.”
“This legislation is exactly where we need to start,” said Tim Ballard, Senior Advisor to the SPEAR Fund, who will be testifying at a congressional hearing that Smith is chairing on Thursday. “This is an emergency and we need to stop the bleeding. We must save children and save them now.”
Ballard—whose incredible story is recounted in the summer blockbuster movie “Sound of Freedom”—served for 12 years as a special agent for the Department of Homeland Security’s Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and the Sex Tourism Jump Team and worked as an undercover operative infiltrating organizations at home and abroad that were abusing and trafficking children.
“Tim’s heroic lifesaving work rescuing children from the extreme cruelty of sex trafficking—almost always at great physical risk to himself and his colleagues—is the stuff of legends,” Smith said.
Testifying at a congressional hearing chaired by Smith in 2015, Ballard said he often felt “helpless by the fact that the vast majority of the child victims that we would find fell outside the purview of the United States…Unless I could tie a US traveler to the case, I would not be able to rescue the children.”
“Stories like Tim Ballard’s and films like the Sound of Freedom will not only inform and educate—they will motivate greater efforts to eradicate this horrific form of exploitation,” said Smith. “This includes our efforts here today to introduce the SECURE Act.”