General Resources

Comments, questions, or info. can be directed to:

  • Image Hosted by

Translate this site into the language of your choice:

American/English German Japanese Italian Portuguese
Spanish French Korean Chinese
Powered by...

April 10, 2006

John Whitehead: "The Real Immigration Problem"

John Whitehead's commentary from the Rutherford Institute: Sex Trafficking: The Real Immigration Problem.
While debates concerning immigration rage over economics and labor, little has been said about the Mexican women and children being bought and sold as sex slaves. The third largest crime scheme after drug and weapons trafficking, sex traffickers transport at least 18,000 captives into the United States each year.

In fact, the U.S. is one of the top destinations for sex traffickers. And trafficking rings have become adept at penetrating U.S. suburban areas. High rates of trafficking are found in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas and Washington, as well as other areas.

The southern border of the U.S. is the main thoroughfare for sex trafficking. Girls are smuggled into the U.S. from all over the world through this gateway. But trafficking along this route is not limited to rings based only in Mexico. "Tijuana is a good crossing point because it's a prostitution zone," said Melissa Ugarte, a sociologist for EYE, an agency aiding children in crisis in San Diego. "It's easy to get from Tijuana into Arizona, California, Texas, to New York. It's simple."

Tijuana, a border town, is a short drive from San Diego. It provides a daily flood of sex-hungry tourists and a police department that looks the other way. Each trafficking ring uses its own route from Tijuana into the U.S. Some drive girls into the U.S. by flashing counterfeit documents at the California border. Other sex slaves are slipped across the border on foot and then shuttled by van to brothels through a network of covert "safehouses" spread across the country.

Tightly organized groups of pimps known as "Los Lenones" operate as wholesalers. These pimps collect human merchandise and make deliveries to brothels in thriving sex-trafficking hubs in major U.S. cities. One of the largest trafficking operations is based in San Diego. It was recently uncovered when child welfare officials teamed with county sheriffs and raided one of many houses of prostitution hidden in lower-class neighborhoods.

The discoveries shocked these officials to the core. The first thing they saw was a girl no older than 14, dressed in provocative clothing. What moved them was not the girl's appearance, but the look of sheer terror in her eyes. The girl, whose name is Paola, had been kidnapped from her home in Oaxaca, Mexico, and smuggled into the U.S. as part of an extensive prostitution ring. During her first days in America, Paola had been passed through multiple exploitation camps. Because of her beauty, she became preferred merchandise and day and night had to service long lines of men, both indoors and out. But of the twenty dollars that each "client" paid, Paola received nothing.

Housed in squalid conditions, hidden away from the public in innocent-looking neighborhoods, girls like Paola are suffering the darkest form of abuse and exploitation. The sex-trafficking pimps have various ways of procuring these victims. They build an emotional relationship with them; convince the adolescent girl and her family to let her be taken to the U.S. to work; or they kidnap them. The girls are bound to their captors by both emotional and physical bonds and are often told that the pimps will marry them. Desperate to escape from their destitute lives in Mexico, they unknowingly walk into a life of exploitation and terror. Many of the girls have children, and a pimp is usually the father. The children are often snatched from their mothers and kept as hostages. When a girl tries to escape, she is told that her child will be killed.
Read the rest here.

Image Hosted by , ,