Human smuggling and human trafficking are two of the most heinous crimes that ICE investigates. In its worst manifestation, human trafficking is akin to modern-day slavery. Victims pay to be illegally transported into the United States only to find themselves in the thrall of the traffickers. They are forced into prostitution, involuntary labor and other forms of servitude to repay debts – often entry in the United States.
In certain cases, the victims are mere children. They find themselves surrounded by an unfamiliar culture and language without identification documents, fearing for their lives and the lives of their families.
ICE is serious about ending human trafficking.
ICE relies on tips from the public to dismantle these organizations. I encourage you to keep your eyes and ears open to suspicious activity. Trafficking victims are often hidden in plain sight, voiceless and scared.
If you notice suspicious activity in your community, call ICE's Tip Line at 1-866-DHS-2-ICE
- Five men were charged in a criminal complaint and nine search warrants were executed yesterday in connection with a scheme to transport individuals from Virginia and Washington, D.C., to engage in prostitution in Annapolis and Easton, Md.
- Twenty-nine individuals affiliated with a Somali gang were charged with sex trafficking four young girls across state lines.
- A jury convicts a Missouri businessman involved in recruiting and exploiting foreign national workers to work at hotels across the United States.
ICE and DHS both have human trafficking awareness campaigns.
Support for Victims
ICE recognizes that severe consequences of human trafficking continue even after the perpetrators have been arrested and held accountable. ICE's Victim Assistance Program helps coordinate services to help human trafficking victims, such as crisis intervention, counseling and emotional support.
For more information, call 1-866-872-4973
Project STAMP (Smuggler and Trafficker Assets, Monies and Proceeds)
Project STAMP attacks human smuggling and human trafficking organizations from an aggressive anti-money laundering stance. ICE's Office of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) follows money trails to identify key members of criminal organizations involved in human smuggling/human trafficking activity. Seizure of these assets is crucial to shutting down these organizations.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)
With more than 42,000 frontline CBP officers and Border Patrol agents protecting nearly 7,000 miles of land border and 327 ports of entry—including official crossings by land, air, and sea—CBP is uniquely situated to deter and disrupt human trafficking.
Learn more about CBP anti-human trafficking efforts
U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)
USCIS helps protect victims of human trafficking and other crimes by providing immigration relief. Two types of immigration relief for victims of human trafficking and other crimes are available through USCIS: T Nonimmigrant Status (T Visa) and U Nonimmigrant Status (U Visa).
Learn more about USCIS efforts to protect victims
12/14/2010 Miami, FL Bahamian vessel captain pleads guilty to migrant smuggling
12/10/2010 West Palm Beach, FL Florida couple sentenced in forced labor conspiracy to exploit Filipino guest workers
12/8/2010 Houston, TX 2 illegal aliens sentenced for transporting, harboring an alien resulting in death
11/29/2010 Victoria, TX Texas firefighter and others arrested for transporting illegal aliens and money laundering
11/23/2010 Richmond, VA Virginia business owners sentenced to 18 months for harboring illegal aliens, forfeit 1.2 million dollars
11/23/2010 Atlanta, GA Mexican national found guilty of multiple federal sex trafficking and immigration crimes
Sign up to receive Human Trafficking email updates