Human traffickers are exploiting thousands of victims in the U.S. with ease mostly because authorities are not properly trained to identify these crimes, according to a new groundbreaking report.
An estimated 21 million people across the globe are subjected to forced labor and other forms of exploitation, according to the International Labour Organization, and thousands of these victims are being manipulated right here in the U.S. In a new study, the Urban Institute and Northeastern University examined each step of the trafficking process and found that perpetrators are often able to commit these crimes in plain sight because embassies fail to identify glaring red flags when victims obtain U.S. visas.
The authors examined 122 closed victim records and interviewed 86 labor trafficking victims, service providers, legal advocates and local and federal law enforcement officials. All of victims in the sample were immigrants. While some forced laborers were smuggled into the country, the study found that 71 percent of the victims analyzed entered the U.S. after getting lawful visas.