ICE: Agents Will Be Dispatched to Super Bowl to Rescue Human Trafficking Victims
ICE Director Matthew Albence says agency will 'be out in full force'
Federal agents from Immigration and Customs Enforcement will be deployed into the Super Bowl in Miami on February 2 to rescue children and adults who have become victims of human trafficking.
Acting ICE Director Matthew Albence stated during a press conference, Thursday:
“We know that large-scale events such as these are ripe for human traffickers to exploit."
“We will be out in full force."
ICE has arrested more than 160 people in the run-up to and after last year’s National Football League championship game in Atlanta.
Over two dozen of those arrested were found to be human traffickers, while 34 had tried to have sex with minors.
The agency also rescued two dozen victims.
According to Albence, those victims would not have been saved without ICE, the FBI, and local police.
“Sometimes people just say human trafficking, and it rolls off the shoulder,” said Albence.
“We’re talking about children and women that are being sexually exploited," he added.
"And when we say rescuing, this may be real, live-time, people being sexually exploited and abused and violated in the most obscene ways possible that our agents are able to go in there, rescue these victims and prosecute these dangerous organizations that are involved in this heinous crime.”
Teams of agents are dispatched to the Super Bowl by ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations arm every year.
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ICE's HSI opened more than 1,000 investigations into suspected human trafficking incidents nationwide last year.
Two thousand two hundred people were arrested on criminal charges by the Department of Homeland Security agency, with more than 400 victims rescued.
Last year, President Donald Trump vowed to end human trafficking by proclaiming January to be a month dedicated to ending the horrific practice.
Trump declared January to be “National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month” during a lengthy proclamation issued on December 31st.
Trump said that merely denouncing such horrific assaults is not enough and, instead, he pledged that his administration would “actively work to prevent and end this barbaric exploitation of innocent victims.”
“Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery,” President Trump states in his proclamation.
“We are morally obligated to confront and defeat the abhorrent practice of human trafficking, and I am keeping my pledge to take aggressive action.”