DHS Opens Center To Combat Human Trafficking

(Photo by Greg Nash-Pool/Getty Images)

Brianna Lyman News and Commentary Writer
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The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) announced the opening of the new Center for Countering Human Trafficking on Tuesday to combat “modern day slavery.”

“Human trafficking is modern day slavery,” Acting Secretary Chad Wolf said. “There is no other way to say it.”

“Human trafficking is one of the greatest human rights abuses of our time – and we will not stop fighting to eradicate it until every person is safe and free.”

The center has been operating since early September and is run by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE), according to the DHS. Law enforcement officials from the Homeland Security Investigations as well as other DHS divisions will focus on prevention, protection, prosecution and partnerships to combat human trafficking trafficking. (RELATED: Ivanka Trump Talks ‘Combating Human Trafficking’ During Announcement Of $35 Million Housing Grants For Survivors)

“Human Trafficking, whether through sex or labor, is a detriment to our society and threatens the moral conscience of our nation,” ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of Director Tony Pham said. “Criminal organizations target those who are most vulnerable and exploit them through any means necessary. Victims are treated as commodities rather than human beings.”

Despite the Trump administration’s announcement to combat human trafficking, which led ICE to conduct more than 2,000 arrests and rescued more than 400 victims in human trafficking cases, reporters at the event were silent when it came to questions.

In September, Ivanka Trump and Attorney General William Barr announced $100 million in new funding allocated by the Department of Justice to fight human trafficking.