Criminal Justice Professor Michael Smith and Associate Professor Rob Tillyer are researching the roots of human trafficking and working with Immigration and Customs Enforcement officials to provide information needed to combat the problem.
Michael Smith, who heads the department, says one thing is certain, and that’s that human trafficking, both for sex and labor, is directly tied to illegal immigration.
“The victims will pay to gain illegal entry into the United States,” he said. “But once they are here, the traffickers then have leverage over them.”
He says most Texans would be surprised at the level of human trafficking. He says it would not be surprising to learn that one of the people who mows your yard or serves you lunch in a restaurant is essentially a slave, working for a trafficking gang who exploits their labor for their own profit. Read more from WOAI.