Border Security And Well-Funded Police Are Key To Fighting Human Trafficking

[Photo courtesy of U.S. Customs and Border Protection]

It’s time to face the brutal truth — our country can’t fight the scourge of human trafficking without strong border security and well-funded law enforcement.

Human trafficking remains one of the most daunting national security challenges facing America — and the world — today. Every single year, the underground network of sex slavery becomes larger and more sophisticated, preying on countless young women and children who are sold to the highest bidder.

Of course, residents of states that are adjacent to the U.S.-Mexico border are well acquainted with this dark reality. Just a few short months ago, experts warned that Arizona in particular remains a hotspot for human trafficking, and that the industry is quickly becoming more violent.

“What we are seeing is that there is a ton of activity, there are a ton of people being bought and sold for sex in our community,” Dominique Roe-Sepowitz, Director of Sex Trafficking Intervention Research at Arizona State University, said in April, adding that the traffickers “are being more violent” and are “more likely to be carrying a weapon.”

America’s fight against sex slavery should be a bipartisan undertaking, but, sadly, it isn’t. Despite its harrowing impact on our communities, human trafficking also receives considerably less media attention than many other social campaigns and political causes.

To make matters worse, the radical campaigns to defund the police and to dismantle border security — movements that have been embraced by some of the most prominent voices in the Democrat Party — are directly inhibiting the effort to protect our communities from multinational sex trafficking organizations.

Even without additional budget cuts, most local police departments don’t have the resources to fight human trafficking on their own. Defunding them further would only make an already difficult task impossible.

The Biden Campaign’s proposed policy platform for the Democrat Party Convention includes provisions that would effectively undo everything that President Trump has done to secure the U.S.-Mexico border. Although this open-borders immigration doctrine would certainly please the far-left, it would also be a dream come true for human traffickers who would gain easier access to millions of vulnerable migrants.

Fortunately, the Trump administration continues to take human trafficking seriously and to devote the necessary resources to saving its victims and punishing their captors.

“My administration is 100 percent committed to eradicating human trafficking from the Earth,” the President said at the White House summit in January, adding that the federal government is “dismantling the criminal organizations that make largescale human trafficking possible.”

Moreover, the President just recently allocated $35 million to provide safe housing for survivors of sex trafficking — funding that will help countless victims in the years to come.

Taking care of the victims of human trafficking is an important effort, but it should go hand-in-hand with an equally determined effort to prevent new victims from falling into the hands of slavers — and that has to include securing the border to deny human traffickers the ability to hide amongst throngs of illegal immigrants.

Americans should all be able to agree that human trafficking must be eradicated. We can only do that if we have a secure border and well-funded law enforcement.

Art Del Cueto is Vice President of the National Border Patrol Council.