Texas Governor Targeting Human Traffickers at the Border
Since the Biden administration came into power just two months ago, immigration policies have changed from the previous administration’s “build a wall” mentality. Trump declared a state of emergency at the border at the beginning of 2019 to impose stricter immigration policies and reduce the influx of illegal immigration and crime along the Texas-Mexico border. One of President Biden’s first actions in office was to end this policy and cut the famous Trump administration’s border wall funding. Since then, Texas has seen a sharp increase in unaccompanied minors arriving at the border. Many believe that human traffickers are helping migrants cross the border, and Texas Governor Greg Abbott intends on getting to the bottom of things.
Increasing Security to Protect Children
This past week, Gov. Abbott referred to the recent influx of unaccompanied minors along the Texas-Mexico border as a “humanitarian crisis.” These migrant numbers have increased so much that the Dallas convention center is being converted into a temporary shelter for these children. The converted convention center housing thousands of migrant children will allow these young kids and teens to socialize and exercise after experiencing incredible trauma. The governor requested access for the Texas Department of Public Safety officers to the children so that they can interview the kids about their experiences and try to identify human traffickers. Gov. Abbott is adamant in obtaining this information so that “America can combat these human traffickers and prevent other children from being victimized.”
According to the U.S. Customs and Border Protection, one out of every 10 undocumented immigrants who officials encountered in February was an unaccompanied minor, which is a 62 percent increase from the previous month. In early March, Gov. Abbott announced that he was dedicating more resources from the Texas Department of Public Safety and the Texas National Guard to secure the border and reduce cartel activity and human trafficking along the border and into the United States. This past week, Gov. Abbott stated that he would be expanding these efforts--known as Operation Lone Star--even further to combat human trafficking.
The Crime of Human Trafficking
Human trafficking is a crime regardless of the victim’s age, but it is even more serious when children are the ones being targeted. Human trafficking is modern-day slavery. According to Texas law, “traffic” means to transport, recruit, entice, provide, harbor, or otherwise obtain a person by any means. A person commits this offense if he or she knowingly traffics a person with the intent or knowledge that this person will engage in forced services or labor. Unfortunately, these forced services are often sexual in nature, even when it comes to child trafficking. Those convicted of human trafficking will face a second-degree felony charge, which escalates to a first-degree felony if the victims are children.
Contact a Plano Criminal Defense Attorney
Are you facing human trafficking accusations? For obvious reasons, such accusations are taken very seriously and will require an experienced criminal defense attorney’s help. The Crowder Law Firm, P.C. helps those facing criminal accusations defend themselves in court regardless of the crime’s nature. We believe that everyone is innocent until proven guilty and we are dedicated to assisting those in need. If you are facing criminal charges, contact our Collin County criminal defense lawyers at 214-303-9600 to schedule your free consultation.