New Hampshire’s Human Trafficking Problem Is Also a Border Security Problem

human_traffickingShawne K. Wickham, reporting in today’s Manchester Union Leader, serves up and article titled, Police: Human trafficking on the rise in New Hampshire.” 

Bedford Police Department is hosting “Hiding in Plain Sight,” a summit on social media and human trafficking, tonight at Manchester Christian Church, 56 Old Bedford Road, Bedford. Panelists will include law enforcement experts, medical professionals, victim advocates and a trafficking survivor.

Maybe this article or the advertised forum is not the place for this but at some point, someone, including reporters, need to accept that porous borders and failed immigration policy is the catalyst for the human trafficking tragedy.

Wickham’s report does an excellent job tying opioids to human trafficking, more specifically sex trafficking.

“We’re trying to tell the story of what human trafficking looks like in the New England area, and specifically what’s going on in New Hampshire,” said Bedford police detective Matt Fleming, one of the organizers.

It’s a “by-product” of the drug epidemic, he said. “We have women who have fallen victim to drug abuse for whatever reason and ultimately are easy targets to be sex-trafficked at that point.”

Fleming said this is not just happening in the big cities. “It’s not a Manchester problem or a Nashua problem,” he said. “It’s a New Hampshire problem.

But it leaves out too many pieces of the puzzle to paint the whole picture. A picture that includes how the traffickers, the trafficked, and the drugs used to leverage addiction are getting to New Hampshire.

Eighty-percent of the drugs used on victims of human trafficking come across the border from Mexico.

A majority of the gang members and gang leaders that import and distribute these drugs to local dealers and traffickers are here illegally after coming across the border from Mexico.

The gangs and their networks are working out of sanctuary cities like Lawrence, Massachusetts fed by new arrivals (including DACA kiddies) across the border with Mexico.

Actual victims of human trafficking are moved across the border from Mexico, and any number of them are probably also drug mules.

And those that are here illegally are here and will remain here, quite often because of ideologically driven sanctuary policies that obstruct necessary coordination between every relevant level of law enforcement.

And this entire manifold of issues includes an umbrella of illicit activity and violent crime that springs from it.

If we don’t commit to slowing or stopping the source of the problem all we’ll be doing is redirecting larger and larger sum of resources to treatment and recovery for a problem we’ve no serious commitment to stopping. Buying bigger buckets to bail out the boat without making any effort to find and plug the leaks.

That is not meant to detract from the effort to inform.

The story is important. Including human trafficking survivors like Darlene Pawlik matter. But the story is incomplete without naming the evil and making a commitment to go after it root and branch.

That will require things that many in both parties are cannot or will not admit or act on publicly.

Border security enforcement is part of the solution. Sanctuary cities and states are part of the problem.

The drugs, overdose deaths, the crime, the trafficking, all have a common denominator. Illegal immigration, inadequate border security, opposition to immigration enforcement laws and policies. Deliberate policy decisions are to blame. Changing those decisions is critical to reform.

If you leave that out of the discussion, you are not serious about addressing the problem. You are just kicking around ideas about how to manage the growing number of lives destroyed and debating how much to increase line items in the next budget to rearrange the deck chairs on your sinking ship.

Steve on GAL

Steve is a New Hampshire resident, blogger, and activist. A member of the 603 Alliance, NHCMP, NHRVC, LFGC, and the host of GrokTALK! Please Note: My opinions are my own and not those of my Family, employers, politicians, campaigns, or other contributors or commenters at GraniteGrok