Jan 15 2016

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DHS Admit They are Struggling To Prevent Human Trafficking and It Starts at Our Borders


Karin Agness , CONTRIBUTOR
Opinions expressed by Forbes Contributors are their own.

How many more women and child victims will slip through the cracks of our immigration system between now and then?

President Barack Obama speaks at the National Counterterrorism Center in McLean, Va.,Thursday, Dec. 17, 2015. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

President Barack Obama proclaimed January to be National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month—calling on “…all Americans to recognize the vital role we can play in ending all forms of slavery.”

Let’s hope the employees of Obama’s Department of Homeland Security (DHS) heard the message.

On Monday, the DHS Inspector General released a report that found that poor information sharing between U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) resulted in human traffickers successfully using fiancé and work visas to traffic victims into the country.

The New York Times highlighted the key findings of the report late Monday:

[I]nvestigators found that from 2005 to 2014, 17 of the 32 known traffickers they examined used the visas to bring in victims who were exploited for either forced labor or prostitution. In addition, the report found that 274 suspected traffickers successfully petitioned federal officials to bring 425 family members or fiancés into the United States.

The Inspector General found that the breakdown occurred because these two DHS components were failing to collaborate. ICE, which works to end human trafficking, was not sharing information with USCIS, which is responsible for overseeing lawful immigration to the U.S.


According to the report, ICE wasn’t effectively sharing information about the suspects of its human trafficking investigations with USCIS, which may have used the information to deny applications. For its part, USCIS was failing to collect names and identifying information of human traffickers and did not regularly share data employees did collect from trafficking victims that could have been used to arrest alleged traffickers.

The New York Times explained:

In one case, auditors found that children who had been sold and brought to the United States and forced into involuntary servitude had identified the human trafficker by name, as well as other victims, to immigration officials, but the information was not entered into agency databases.

What all of this means is that the right hand and left hand of the Department responsible for administering and investigating our immigration laws weren’t working together. One result of this lack of cooperation is that human traffickers were able to manipulate our immigration laws to bring women and children into the country for the purposes of sex slavery.

Americans should take little comfort with the Department’s response to the Inspector General’s alarming findings. ICE and USCIS plan to create a working group to figure out how to share data and USCIS “expects this process will be completed by the end of FY 2017.”

How many more women and child victims will slip through the cracks of our immigration system between now and then?

Permanent link to this article: http://porninthevalley.com/2016/01/15/dhs-admit-struggling-prevent-human-trafficking-starts-borders/

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