The FBI’s description of human trafficking is:
“They are trapped in lives of misery often beaten, starved, and forced to work as prostitutes or to take grueling jobs as migrant, domestic, restaurant, or factory workers with little or no pay.”
In a report from last September, it is estimated that nearly half of all Central American migrants heading to the United States end up as victims of human trafficking. And it seems that some of them are getting help from the US Department of Homeland Security.
Andrew S,. Hanen, US District Judge for Southern District of Texas, Brownsville Division recently exposed the DHS involvement in releasing a 10 year old to an illegal alien living in the US who had paid to have the girl smuggled across the border. A human trafficker was caught trying to smuggle the girl across the border using a birth certificate of her own daughter. The trafficker admitted that she was not related to the girl and was paid to smuggle her over the border.
It turns out that Patricia Elizabeth Salmeron Santos from El Salvador had applied for a tourist visa to the US in 2000, but that request was denied. Eventually, Santos entered the US illegally and took up residence in Virginia. She then arranged with human traffickers to smuggle her 10 year old daughter identified only as Y.P.S., over the US border and deliver her to Santos for a fee of $8,500.
In Hanen’s decision, he wrote:
“Salmeron Santos admitted that she started this conspiracy by hiring alien smugglers to transfer her child from El Salvador to Virginia. She agreed to pay $8,000 (actually paid $6000 in advance) for these human traffickers to smuggle her daughter. The criminal conspiracy instigated by Salmeron Santos was temporarily interrupted when Nava-Martinez was arrested. Despite this setback, the goal of the conspiracy was successfully completed thanks to the actions of the United States Government. This Court is quite concerned with the apparent policy of the Department Homeland Security (hereinafter “DHS”) of completing the criminal mission of individuals for violating the border security of the United States. Customs and Border Protection agents stopped the Defendant at the border inspection point. She was arrested, and the child was taken into custody. The DHS officials were notified that Salmeron Santos instigated this illegal conduct. Yet, instead of arresting Salmeron Santos for instigating the conspiracy to violate our border security laws, the DHS deliver the child to her — thus in successfully completing the mission of the criminal conspiracy. It did not arrest her. It did not prosecute her. It did not even initiate deportation proceedings for her. This DHS policy is a dangerous course of action.…”
“This Court is not unsympathetic to an individual or entity taking action that is in the best interests of the minor child; nor is it this Court’s goal to divide or separate family members. But the decision to separate Salmeron Santos from Y.P.S. was made years ago, and it was made by Salmeron Santos. She purposely chose this course of action. Her decision to smuggle the child across the border, even if motivated by the best of motives, is not an excuse for the United States Government to further a criminal conspiracy, and by doing so, encourage others to break the law and in danger additional children. To put this in another context, the DHS policy is as logical as taking drugs or weapons that it has seized from smugglers and delivering them to the criminals who initially solicited their illegal importation/exportation. Legally, the situation is no different. This Court is not blind to the needs of a minor child, nor is it suggesting that a child should be punished for the crimes of her parent. Nevertheless, neither the Flores settlement nor a concern for common decency compels the Government to not only aid, but also reward an individual for initiating a scheme to break the laws governing the border security of this country. Further, neither compels the Government to aid the drug cartels controlled this human trafficking.”
“Finally, the Court is aware that prosecutors and law enforcement officers, including those here on the border, frequently use their discretion to the further prosecution or arrest of individuals. This Court is not opposed to the concepts of prosecutorial discretion, if that discretion is exercised with a sense of justice and common sense. Nevertheless, it is not aware of any accepted legal principle, including prosecutorial discretion, that not only allows the Government to decline prosecution, the further allows it to actually complete the intended criminal mission. The DHS should enforce the laws of the United States — not break them.”
What kind of a message is this sending to people in other countries? The parents can cross illegally and set up house then have a human trafficker smuggler their kid(s) to them. If they get caught, no problem, the DHS will see to it that your kids are delivered to you anyway, thus completing the illegal act.
Obviously the message of the DHS has gotten through loud and clear as this was the fourth identical case that Judge Hanen saw in his court in that month.
But the problem of illegal human trafficking across our border is not just parents trying to get their kids here. There is a far greater issue. To start with, many of the people being trafficked across our border are brought here as slaves to be put to work as maids, house keepers, restaurant workers and for the sex industry.
Sex trafficking has become a huge business for the Mexican drug cartels who reportedly made $11 billion last year alone from it. In fact, 70% of the sex trafficking cases are linked to the drug gangs and cartels. Most of the trafficking is of women, but the ages are getting younger and younger. Forty percent of them are underage.
They are often tricked by promises of jobs, money and security while others are simply forced into complying or dying. Approximately 1 of every 20 women taken into the sex trafficking world are murdered.
When the DHS officials handed Y.P.S. over to her supposed mother, they never asked for any documentation or proof that she was her real daughter. What if she was just a girl that had been kidnapped and being delivered to Santos or someone else to be used in the sex industry? The kidnappers could have told the girl that if she says anything to anyone that they will kill her family back in her country. This has been done on more than one occasion.
For this being the fourth case that Hanen saw just this month, means that there are many others being trafficked across the border and a good many of them are being forced into a life they don’t want. But Obama doesn’t want to tighten up the borders because he’ll lose voters, so DHS officials will not only turn a blind eye to illegal human trafficking, but will probably continue to do their part to make sure it gets carried out to completion.