Many immigrants in Miami are able to overcome daunting challenges and live significantly improved lives from the conditions they endured in their home countries. Unfortunately for countless others, their nightmare continues upon arriving in the United States. Human trafficking is a terrible plague affecting immigrants across the country. According to the Flagler College Gargoyle, Florida holds the unfortunate ranking of third in the country for human trafficking. So far this year, 191 cases of human trafficking or smuggling were suspected in the state. The crime of sexually exploiting people against their will is considered a third-degree felony in Florida.
Human trafficking, states the Federation for American Immigration Reform, often consists of sexual exploitation such as pornography, stripping and prostitution. Many other immigrants are forced to work in inhumane conditions as agricultural workers, domestic servants or sweatshop workers. It is estimated that between 14,500 and 17,500 illegal immigrants are smuggled into the country every year with the intent to exploit them.
Traffickers often promise undocumented immigrants they will have better lives and jobs in America, but they arrive to an entirely different fate. The barriers preventing them from improving their lives include poverty, language, social isolation, limited employment choices and debts to their smugglers. Today, trafficking, along with the illegal weapons industry, makes up the world’s second largest criminal industry next to illegal substances. It may be difficult to escape dismal situations after arriving in the country, but a law firm with experience representing immigrant rights may be able to help.