U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recognizes January as National Human Trafficking Awareness Month, which offers an opportunity to bring acknowledgment to continued efforts working to eliminate the crime, ensuring all people are treated with dignity and respect.
Law enforcement agencies nationwide have been working with communities to promote the work being done to prevent human trafficking and support victims of the crime. ICE has been participating in human trafficking awareness events.
Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) arrested 2,197 individuals in connection with human trafficking during fiscal year 2019, and more than 400 trafficking victims were identified and offered assistance.
HSI has arrested more than 9,000 individuals for human trafficking offenses since 2010. The investigative efforts of local field offices, such as Project Wire Watch, are attributed to this arrest rate.
HSI New York and HSI Mexico City investigated a sex trafficking organization after interviewing a victim who was trafficked by a member of the group. This investigation has resulted in more than 100 search warrants, 117 administrative arrests, 50 indictments, 50 criminal arrests, and the rescue of 86 victims.
The top locations for human trafficking criminal arrests last year were Los Angeles, Houston, Atlanta, Charlotte, and Phoenix.
ICE believes educating the public on the signs of human trafficking can help victims be identified, and traffickers being brought to justice.