Slavery By Any Other Name

We have all heard of the modern evils of “human trafficking.” I had not, however, understood it in the following context:

It is now depressingly common for foreign organized-crime groups to bring people to the US under false pretenses and then force those people to work for the criminals under pain of having their loved ones back home murdered if they do not submit. We talk about it using euphemisms such as “human trafficking” or “sexual exploitation”, but we are really just talking about simple slavery.

Some might argue that this is nothing but extortion, but when: (1) An individual uses violence to completely control the movements and actions of another and (2) then uses that control to force the victim to work for the controlling individual’s economic benefit, slavery is the only honest thing to call it.

One of the problems with illegal immigration is that it creates a population in America who can be threatened and controlled by foreign actors. No US jurisdiction can protect an immigrant’s loved ones across the border. No matter how law-abiding any individual illegal immigrant is, they carry the lawlessness of the 3rd world into America by leaving behind hostages in their home country. Authorities in South Texas have been stymied in several investigations because Mexican immigrants have valid fears that cross-border gangs will murder their relatives in Mexico if they cooperate with American law enforcement.

The fact that the world has become so small, in terms of distance meaning very little to most of us, means that evil may have influence far beyond what was once possible. This facet of the discussion of both illegal immigration and modern slavery should not be ignored.