Sen. Katie Britt Busted Lying About Human Trafficking Victim During GOP’s SOTU Rebuttal

Sen. Katie Britt (R-AL) listens during a news conference on border security at the U.S. Capitol Building on September 27, 2023, in Washington, D.C. | Source: Anna Moneymaker / Getty

Last week, we reported on Alabama Sen. Katie Britt and her rebuttal to President Joe Biden’s State of the Union Address. Actually, media outlets and folks on social media were so focused on Britt’s absurdly dramatic performance in her rebuttal video, which weirdly appeared to be taken from her kitchen, that much more time was spent focusing on her Karen-esque D-list overacting that wouldn’t be fit for a Tubi production than was spent focusing on how truthful she was during her speech.

Well, it turns out, a central part of Britt’s speech, which largely focused on the border crisis, was based on a misleading anecdote about a sex-trafficking victim whose story Britt appears to have exploited in order to bolster a narrative against Biden’s immigration policies, which would be fine if it weren’t for the fact that the trafficking victim she was speaking about hadn’t been trafficked during the administration of Presiden George W. Bush, which also doesn’t matter since the victim was trafficked within Mexico, not the U.S.

“I traveled to the Del Rio sector of Texas,” Britt said following Biden’s address Thursday. “That’s where I spoke to a woman who shared her story with me. She had been sex trafficked by the cartels starting at the age of 12. She told me not just that she was raped every day, but how many times a day she was raped. The cartels put her on a mattress in a shoe box of a room, and they sent men through that door over and over again for hours and hours on end. We wouldn’t be okay with this happening in a Third World country. This is the United States of America, and it is past time, in my opinion, that we start acting like it. President Biden’s border policies are a disgrace.”

According to the Washington Post, Britt’s own communications director, Sean Ross, confirmed that the freshman senator was talking about Karla Jacinto Romero, who testified before Congress about being forced to work in Mexican brothels from 2004 to 2008. Romero’s story, while horrific, had nothing to do with Biden. Her story not only happened within the borders of Mexico in a timeframe that ended 13 years before Biden took office, but it happened nowhere near the U.S. border. In fact, when you think about it, Romero’s story should, if anything, serve as a counterpoint to Britt’s narrative as it illustrates part of the reason why so many South American migrants are seeking asylum in the U.S. Of course, one really couldn’t count on anyone in the MAGA world to possess the compassion or critical thinking capacity to draw that conclusion.

But instead of just admitting that Britt’s comments were misleading at best and a blatant lie at worst, she and Ross are doubling down on it and pretending there’s a link between what happened to Romero and Biden’s immigration policies.

“The story Senator Britt told was 100% correct,” Ross said in a written statement. “And there are more innocent victims of that kind of disgusting, brutal trafficking by the cartels than ever before right now. The Biden administration’s policies — the policies in this country that the President falsely claims are humane — have empowered the cartels and acted as a magnet to a historic level of migrants making the dangerous journey to our border. Along that journey, children, women, and men are being subjected to gut-wrenching, heartbreaking horrors in our own backyard. And here at home, the Biden administration’s policies are leading to more and more suffering, including Americans being poisoned by fentanyl and being murdered. These human costs are real, and it’s past time for some on the left to stop pretending otherwise.”

Oh, somebody is “pretending” alright, but in this instance, it isn’t Biden.

Notice how all of a sudden, Ross is talking about what’s happening to migrants on the “journey to our border” as opposed to what’s happening at the border or in the U.S. Again, Ross doesn’t likely understand that he’s making a pro-asylum argument, but he literally refers to migrants as “innocent victims” of “disgusting, brutal trafficking.” Ross may not realize it, but he’s humanizing migrants in a way most conservatives refuse to, including Trump himself, who likened migrants to Hannibal Lecter.

Britt is doing the same.

“If we as leaders of the greatest nation in the world are not fighting to protect the most vulnerable, we are not doing our job,” she said in a YouTube video that features images of her hugging Romero during her 2023 trip to the border. (Again, how is this not pro-asylum rhetoric?)

But it clearly isn’t the intent of Ross or Britt to subvert the will of MAGA America by painting migrants as human beings, they’re simply stretching themselves with Simone Biles-level mental gymnastics to draw a link between Biden’s policies and sex trafficking on the other side of the border. They’re also perpetuating the big lie that was the main focus of Britt’s speech: the idea that migrants are causing a surge in crime in “our own backyard.”

As I’ve written before, Republicans can keep promoting the propaganda that illegal immigrants are causing crime to surge in America because they know their constituents won’t do the bare minimum research it would take to know there haven’t been any surges in crimes in the cities most migrants have come to, and, in fact, in many of those cities, crime rates have fallen. As for the trafficking of migrants that has happened in the U.S., according to the Post, it largely isn’t illegal immigrants who are responsible.

From the Post:

When Donald Trump was president, he regularly decried human trafficking that he claimed was happening at the border, including that “thousands of young girls and women” were being smuggled across the border for prostitution. In 2019, we investigated that claim and found no evidence to support it. Most human trafficking prosecutions generally involve legal border crossings, visa fraud and travel into the United States on airplanes. Victim organizations say there are relatively few cases that involve forced kidnapping across the border. This might be one reason Britt regularly cites a case that happened long ago and did not involve crossing the border.

Truthfully, we should always be concerned about human trafficking, brutal violence and the victimizing of our neighbors beyond the southern border, not just when it’s politically convenient. It should be about humanity, not politics, and if it were, we’d be having an entirely different conversation regarding migrants, asylum and the role the U.S. plays in all of it.


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The post Sen. Katie Britt Busted Lying About Human Trafficking Victim During GOP’s SOTU Rebuttal appeared first on NewsOne.

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