Immigrations and Customs Enforcement Initiatives Against Human Trafficking, Smuggling
Human trafficking is the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision or obtaining of a person for labor or services through the use of coercion, force or fraud. Human trafficking is usually for the purposes of subjecting an individual to involuntary servitude, debt bondage or slavery. Sex trafficking occurs when a commercial sex act is induced by coercion, force or fraud or when the person induced to perform these acts is under 18 years of age.
Similarly, human smuggling is the importation of people into the United States through the deliberate evasion of U.S. immigration laws. This offense includes bringing illegal aliens into the U.S. as well as unlawful transportation and harboring of such aliens already in the country illegally.
Human trafficking and human smuggling pose serious risks to homeland security.
Terrorists and criminals can often access the same routes and use the same methods used by human smugglers. U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit strives to identify criminals and organizations involved in these illegal activities.
In the relentless fight against human smuggling and trafficking, ICE has developed highly successful initiatives that focus on attacking the infrastructure that supports smuggling organizations as well as the assets that are derived from these criminal activities. This might include seizing currency, property, vehicles and other assets.
A new tool in ICE’s fight against human smuggling and trafficking is the Civil Asset Forfeiture Reform Act, or CAFRA. CAFRA provides notice to property owners whose properties have been identified as being used to facilitate smuggling or harboring aliens. This is a significant tool because many employers often turn a blind eye to the facilitation of criminal activity on their property. ICE remains thoroughly committed to preventing the smuggling and trafficking of individuals through these initiatives that adversely impact organizations engaged in these illegal practices.
Rob C. Tonogbanua, Esq.
Dickie McCamey & Chilcote, P.C.