STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Authorities rescued a 9-year-old Ecuadorian boy Monday from a drop house where he had been kidnapped and held hostage by a dangerous human smuggler for more than four months.
The boy became separated from his mother while they were smuggled across the border by human traffickers in May. The smugglers demanded $4,000 for the child’s release, which his parents were unable to pay.
“We must secure our borders,” said Assistant House Democratic Leader Kyrsten Sinema. “It’s clearer now more than ever that Republicans’ tactics have failed miserably to deal with crime and violence along the border and in our neighborhoods. They blatantly have ignored bills that offer real solutions to these problems.”
Sinema’s HB 2149 combats the use of drop houses and human smuggling across the border. The bill would have made it a tougher penalty for forgery if the crime is committed in connection with a drop house, but Republicans held the bill in committee.
“Human trafficking of children happens in drop houses in our neighborhoods every day,” Sinema said. “We need tough immigration reform that cracks down on human smugglers, the illegal sale of weapons to drug cartels and other violent criminals, and we need to give law enforcement the real tools they need to secure our borders. Unfortunately, Republicans have done nothing of the sort.”