Stewart Rabinowitz, of the Dallas-based law firm Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, echoes some timely comments against the despicable modern-day practice of human trafficking coincident with ICE efforts to combat the practice.
Recently U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) described the increasingly prevalent practice of human trafficking, which has emerged as a global phenomenon. “It’s the equivalent of 21st century slavery,” said Stewart Rabinowitz, of the Dallas-based law firm Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, “It may include forced labor, prostitution, child labor, or indentured servitude, but every day, people of all ages in many countries lead lives of desperation that are anything but quiet. In fact, their situations may be precarious if not also outright dangerous.”
Typical scenarios are varied but may include elements of the following: A young woman is smuggled across the U.S. border with the promise of a better life. Once she arrives here, she is forced to work as a prostitute to pay off her smugglers. With no travel or identity documents and unable to speak the language, she is trapped in a nightmare with little hope for escape.
Human trafficking is a serious cross-border crime, often leading to tragic consequences, and ICE is leading a U.S. federal government effort designed to investigate and dismantle human trafficking organizations.
“Criminal networks are becoming increasingly sophisticated when it comes to human trafficking,” asserted Rabinowitz, “It is a disturbing trend that should be met with an equally sophisticated response to proactively attack these criminal entities.”
The ICE has instituted several programs dedicated to combating human trafficking including:
Assuming the lead role in the Human Smuggling and Trafficking Center (HSTC), the U.S. government’s intelligence center for federal agencies involved in combating human smuggling, human trafficking, and terrorist travel.
ICE is training law enforcement and government partners around the world, conducting training sessions on trends in trafficking, undercover operations, and conducting investigations in foreign countries.
ICE is overseeing a variety of outreach and public awareness efforts, including the “Hidden in Plain Sight” campaign to educate citizens on recognizing the signs of human trafficking and reporting suspected trafficking victims.
ICE’s efforts are paying off. The agency opened 566 human trafficking investigations in Fiscal Year 2009, a 31 percent increase over the previous fiscal year and which led to 388 arrests, 148 indictments and 165 convictions.
To learn more about Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C., call 1.972.233.6200 or visit Rabinowitzrabinowitz.com.