It is to our shame that human trafficking continues to exist within the United States.  The practice goes on in a highly secretive nature.  In this author’s experience, investigating human trafficking and weapons trafficking are two hot subjects that greatly increase your odds of turning up in a ditch somewhere with a bullet in the back of your head.  Beyond the secrecy, and the violence which these groups will use to protect their illicit trade, human trafficking continues for another reason.  Virtually everyone agrees that human trafficking is appalling and that law enforcement should put a stop to it.  However, even the trafficking of children gets pushed lost in the fray.

As long time child advocate Andrew Vachss has said in the past, kids don’t vote so the protection of children really isn’t on the agenda of any politician.  Besides, what is human trafficking really?  Is it a national security threat?  Is it terrorism?  Is it white collar crime?  Despite its appalling nature it is none of these things.  For these reasons and others cracking down human trafficking is not a priority.  Maybe we can start to bring this issue to the forefront by dispensing with the clinical sounding term “human trafficking” and just call it for what it really is: slavery.

humanbarcodes
Some pimps claim ownership over their sex slaves with permanently tattooed bar codes

This form of slavery takes on many forms.  One is the kidnapping and enslaving of Mexican women who are then forced to become prostitutes in America and service migrant populations.  These young women are groomed in their home countries such as Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and Colombia by other locals who promise to smuggle them into the United States with the promise of legitimate work.  Once the girls are smuggled into America they are then taken to safehouses in and around Houston, Texas.

Due to the illicit nature of sex slavery, the prostitutes are moved every few weeks to keep a few steps ahead of law enforcement.  From Houston the women will be smuggled from bordello to bordello across the Southern United States, through places like Birmingham, Alabama, New Orleans, Louisiana, and Nashville, Tennessee.  In each bordello the sex slaves will be forced to have sex with men who pay $30-$40 dollars for their services.  When the sex slaves arrive in a new town, fake business cards are distributed to the migrant workers by the human traffickers.  These cards will advertise something mundane like carpet cleaning but the phone number will connect the men to whichever trailer park the bordello is being run out of.