Most of us are aware of the controversy in our nation over the issue of illegal immigrants vs federal law and resulting declarations of sanctuary city or state status. Have you wondered how this topic intersects with the issue of human trafficking?
An issue brief from FAIR (Federation for American Immigration Reform), August 2016, says, "The large and persistent influx of illegal aliens contributes to an environment of vulnerability and abuse. Wherever the law fails to hold people accountable, crime will flourish. The federal government’s failure to effectively address the illegal alien dilemma creates and perpetuates an environment in which exploitation runs rampant."
The brief further states, "While anyone can become a victim of trafficking, illegal aliens are highly vulnerable to being trafficked due to a combination of factors, including lack of legal status and protections, limited language skills and employment options, poverty and immigration-related debts, and social isolation."
On April 3, 2017, The Border Legislative Conference, said, "According to the government, more than 20,000 Mexican children are victims of sex trafficking every year, especially in tourist and border areas. Additionally, the desire of cheap labor in the agriculture industry and immigrants' difficulty in entering the country legally have set the stage for people to be trafficked in illegally and exploited.
The Border Legislative Conference notes that there has been progress made by the federal government, citing the "dramatic increase in numbers of human trafficking cases brought in federal courts over the past ten years. It also explains that federal laws permit the Department of Homeland Security to issue non-immigrant visas to cooperative trafficking victims, and the Department of Health and Human Services to certify them for benefits similar to those available to refugees. Human trafficking has become a top priority of not only the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) and the federal government as a whole, but also of many state and local governments. In fact, to date, at least 39 U.S. states have passed sex trafficking laws."
Exploitation of anyone is wrong. Period. Let's pray for ALL victims of trafficking, including legal and illegal immigrants. And let's pray for continued progress in anti-trafficking efforts at both the national and state levels.
Want to learn more about the face of modern-day slavery? Visit www.hope4justice.org/learnmore/.
THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2017
Royal Family KIDS - Camps, Clubs & Mentors Program has worked with abused foster children in Whatcom County for 24 years. Their Golf Tournament fundraiser is Thursday, April 27. For more information, contact Andrea Ketchum at: 360 303-0850
SATURDAY, JUNE 3, 2017
Engedi Refuge Ministries will be showing the video Nefarious: Merchant of Souls at Hillcrest Chapel, 1400 Larrabee Ave, Bellingham, WA 98225 on Saturday evening, June 3rd. (Note date change) A question/answer period will follow.
More details to come.
The Next Hope4Justice Public Meeting is THIS WEEK
Come to find out exactly how you can help anti-trafficking efforts in the education, government, or business sector of Whatcom County
What: We'll be developing specific plans of action
When: 7-8:30 pm on Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Where: Engedi Counseling Center, 7370 Guide Meridian, Lynden, WA 98264. (From Wiser Lake roundabout head North on Guide Meridian; immediately after Simple Box Storage Containers turn right into the driveway and drive to the right and toward the back)