Human Trafficking In Florida
Human trafficking is a form of modern-day slavery in which victims are used for forced labor or sexual exploitation. The Trafficking Victims Protection Act (TVPA) is a federal law that criminalizes the act of human trafficking and was first signed into action in early 2000.
According to U.S. law under the TVPA, human trafficking is defined as “sex trafficking in which a commercial sex act is induced by force, fraud, or coercion, or in which the person induced to perform such an act has not attained 18 years of age; or the recruitment, harboring, transportation, provision, or obtaining of a person for labor or services, through the use of force, fraud, or coercion for the purpose of subjection to involuntary servitude, peonage, debt bondage, or slavery”. The TVPA was reauthorized in 2003, 2005 and 2008.
The U.S. Department of State estimates that about 600,000 to 800,000 people, mostly women and children, are trafficked across national borders annually. If trafficking within a country’s borders is included, this figure drastically increases to approximately 2 to 4 million people, according to official U.S. estimates. Furthermore, it is estimated that 17,500 to 20,000 victims are trafficked into the U.S. annually, with Florida receiving a high percentage of those victims.
Trafficked victims generally tend to flow from less developed countries to more industrialized nations or to neighboring countries with higher standards of living.
A South Florida couple has been recently arrested after a federal human trafficking investigation (FOX News).
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement says Sophia Manuel and Alfonso Baldonado Jr. were arrested Wednesday in a scheme to force Filipino nationals to work in South Florida country clubs and hotels.
The agency says Manuel, 41, and Baldonado, 46, own Quality Staffing Services Corporation in Boca Raton. They were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges including visa fraud and making false statements to the government.
Authorities say the pair threatened victims with deportation and offered little or no pay, and inadequate food or water.
If you are accused of a crime, your freedom, your family, your reputation, your immigration status, and your job may be at stake. The outcome you receive in the criminal justice system depends upon the experience and knowledge of the defense attorney you choose to represent you.
From Law Office of Andrew Stine: The client I represented, a Guatemalan National, received a sentence of 14 months. The key to the case and the lenient sentence was my motion practice, I made the Government work. The law office of Andrew Stine files motions. Make them work!