Biden Administration Creates Task Force on Migrant Child Labor

    Biden Administration Creates Task Force on Migrant Child Labor
    Last updated Feb 28, 2023
    Image credit: wapo


    • US Pres. Biden’s administration Monday announced plans to crack down on child labor — including establishing a joint task force between the Department of Labor and the Department of Health and Human Services to improve information sharing between the two agencies.
    • The administration, which plans to better enforce current child-labor laws, is seeking legislation to create higher fines for violators and appropriate funding for enforcement and oversight. Currently, violators face a fine of just over $15K.
    • Illegal child labor has increased by 69% since 2018, and 835 companies employed more than 3.8K children illegally in 2022.
    • Examples of child-labor violations abound, with the administration currently looking into possible malfeasance at Hearthside Food Solutions, and the government enforcing a $1.5M fine on a major food safety sanitation company earlier this month.
    • More than 250K child migrants have entered the US in the past two years, with many of the children seeking money to send back home.
    • Companies are also dealing with labor shortages, which have caused some states, including Iowa and Minnesota, to lower the minimum age for employment for certain roles — a move the federal government has called “hazardous.”


    Democratic narrative

    With the Biden administration intensifying its enforcement of child-labor laws and its investigations of violators, companies won’t be able to hide behind staffing agencies or subcontractors anymore. Factories, suppliers, and even larger companies that employ children in their supply chains will finally be held accountable. Congress should pass the necessary legislation to aid the administration’s efforts.

    Republican narrative

    If the administration wants to tackle this problem, it should focus its efforts on the border and not on going after American companies. Underage migrants are using a loophole in US immigration policy to get into this country, and of course, they need to make money to live and to send home. Closing this loophole and better securing the border would cut down on illegal child labor and benefit the economy as a whole.

    Political split



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