Immigration officials launch human-trafficking campaign (Video)
A young girl in an oversized birdcage and immigrants ransacked of their belongings are just a few of the images being used as part of a public awareness campaign launched this week by federal officials to combat human trafficking.
U.S. Customs and Border Protection announced a “Don’t Be Fooled” campaign, which is designed to educate people and encourage public vigilance to combat human trafficking in local communities.
Two public service announcements “Masquerade” and “Bird Cage” are scheduled to air July 25 in the southeast part of the United States.
“Death, disappearance, and enslavement — these too often are the futures that await illegal immigrants who mortgage their lives to human smugglers,” U.S. Customs and Border Protection Deputy Commissioner David V. Aguilar said in a written statement.
The campaign is the latest in an international effort that began with last year’s “No Te Engañes” campaign. Department of Homeland Security embarked on the Spanish-language effort, which was aired in Central America and Mexico in February of last year.
Immigration officials opted out of airing the new campaign in states with traditionally strong Latino markets, such as California and Texas. Those states already have high numbers of trafficking victims being reported, stated Jaime Ruiz, spokesman for U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Customs and border Protection.
Instead, they opted to target more rural and underserved areas where there isn’t as much of a media presence, Ruiz said in a written statement.
“The Hispanic community has grown immensely in states such as Florida, Georgia, and Virginia where labor trade has increased (cruises, farms, factories, animal processing),” Ruiz stated.
Watch the public awareness television spots “Masquerade” and “Bird Cage.”