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Lawmakers Clamor for Action on Child Migrant Labor as Outrage Grows

Members of Congress are pressing for stricter laws to prevent and penalize the use of child labor and tougher vetting by the Biden administration of adults who take custody of unaccompanied migrant children, as revelations about the exploitation of underage migrants by employers have prompted outrage among policymakers.

Days after an investigation by The New York Times revealed the explosive growth of migrant child labor in the United States, federal and state enforcement agencies have begun a crackdown on companies that employ children, and the Biden administration is under pressure to make broader changes to the way it deals with minors who arrive in the country without their parents.

“The Biden administration must make right the protection system that failed unaccompanied children, and all children exploited for labor,” said Mario Bruzzone, senior policy adviser at the Women’s Refugee Commission. “We need accountability from the brands that profit from child labor, and every unaccompanied child must have a lawyer to safeguard the child’s rights.”

Learn more about WRC’s work on children and families.