Department of Justice
Office of Public Affairs

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
August 07, 2011

Texas U.S. Attorneys Meet to Discuss Human Trafficking

 Districts to Build on Local Successes to Develop and Implement
Statewide Anti-Human Trafficking Strategy


DALLAS — The four U.S. Attorneys in Texas, John M. Bales of the Eastern District, Sarah R. Saldaña of the Northern District, Kenneth Magidson of the Southern District and Robert L. Pitman of the Western District, met yesterday in the U.S. Attorney’s office in Dallas to discuss anti-human trafficking initiatives in their districts and explore implementing a statewide anti-human trafficking strategy.
“Involuntary servitude and other forms of human abuse are an anathema to the American way of life and must be met with all the fervor and creativity that we can muster,” said U.S. Attorney Bales.  “I am very pleased to join forces with our sister districts.”


“The Northern District is fully engaged, with our federal, state and local law enforcement partners, and our colleagues in governmental and non-governmental organizations, in preventing and fighting human trafficking in all its detestable forms,” said U.S. Attorney Saldaña.  “While our commitment has never been stronger and we are encouraged by many recent achievements in this fight, we can always do more.  By partnering with the other federal judicial districts in Texas we can maximize the effectiveness of our joint efforts in prevention and advance high-impact human trafficking prosecutions.”


“The Southern District of Texas has had tremendous success through leadership of our longstanding Human Trafficking Rescue Alliance, which partners with a variety of federal, state and local agencies and has served as a model to other districts,” said U.S. Attorney Magidson.  “This is an issue that doesn't just affect us, but the entire state and nation.  We hope to continue our efforts, to share ideas, to identify areas of improvement and ensure all the work in Texas is consistent and continues to be an example to the nation in this significant law enforcement arena.”


          “Because of Texas’ extensive border with Mexico, we are on the front lines in the effort to combat human trafficking,” said U.S. Attorney Pitman.  “It’s shocking to realize that human trafficking persists in our communities in the form of child exploitation, forced prostitution and involuntary servitude.  As United States Attorneys in Texas, we are determined to re-focus our efforts to identify and rescue victims, as well as to prosecute and hold accountable those responsible for these inhumane crimes.”

The U.S. Attorneys met with Nick Sensley, the Anti-Trafficking Strategist for Humanity United (HU), a foundation committed to building peace and advancing human freedom.  Mr. Sensley is a key player in HU’s efforts to guide states in developing statewide anti-trafficking strategies that use collaborative, innovative efforts to identify and stop traffickers and help victims heal and rebuild their lives.  Members of the North Texas Anti-Trafficking Team’s Executive Board joined the meeting for further discussion.


The Justice Department’s commitment to preventing human trafficking, bringing traffickers to justice and assisting victims has never been stronger.  While the Department’s work has sent a clear and critical message that human trafficking crimes will not be tolerated, there is still much to be done.  This meeting constitutes another step in the fight against modern day slavery.

 

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