On July 25, 2012, the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) held an event to update stakeholders on recent activities and provide a platform for participants to offer individual feedback regarding current Blue Campaign efforts. About 80 individuals attended representing academia, healthcare organizations, first responders, faith-based organizations, state and local government, federal government, law enforcement, and members of the public and private sectors. Event participants discussed efforts to support victims, raise awareness of human trafficking, and increase collaboration on anti-human trafficking initiatives.
Tonya Robinson, Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy from the White House Domestic Policy Council gave opening remarks. She reaffirmed the President’s commitment to the issue of human trafficking, and described it as the moral issue of our day. She also stated that the President has directed his cabinet to “find ways to strengthen our current work, and to expand on partnerships with civil society and the private sector, so that we can bring more resources to bear in fighting this horrific injustice.”
Alice Hill, Senior Counselor to the Secretary and Chair of the DHS Blue Campaign, provided an update on DHS activities since the last stakeholder meeting on January 11, 2012:
- On January 12, 2012, Secretary Napolitano met with representatives from the retail, hotel, and airline industries, state, local and tribal law enforcement, and nongovernmental organizations to discuss ways to raise awareness and increase training on human trafficking.
- Secretary Napolitano has also increased the Department’s anti-trafficking engagement with the international community, signing statements of intent on combating human trafficking with the governments of the Dominican Republic, Guatemala, New Zealand, and Panama, as well as a Memorandum of Understanding with Canada to facilitate the sharing of case information.
- 100% of the U.S. Coast Guard Investigative Service Agents and FLETC law enforcement personnel have completed the DHS Personnel Human Trafficking Awareness Training. In addition, all of the other key parts of the DHS workforce who may come in contact with victims of human trafficking have committed to completing the training by the end of September.
- The U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) announced on July 24 that all 55,000 of their employees will take a human trafficking awareness course. DOT’s course was adapted from the DHS Personnel Training course.
- In February 2012, DHS made training on the human trafficking provisions of the Federal Acquisition Regulation (FAR) mandatory for all DHS contracting professionals. As of July 25, the Department has trained 100% of its contracting professionals.
- DHS developed a concise document for law enforcement officers, outlining the immigration options for victims of human trafficking, including how and when to apply for Continued Presence and T and U nonimmigrant visas. This resource was created in response to stakeholder feedback on the need to enhance law enforcement’s understanding of the immigration relief options available through DHS.
- The Blue Campaign has adopted and modified the “I Speak” pocket guide and poster, created by the DHS Office of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties, which DHS personnel and law enforcement use in identifying the language of people with whom they are interacting. Law enforcement officers and others can show the “I Speak” pocket guide or poster to potential victims of human trafficking. The Blue Campaign created these human trafficking versions of the “I Speak” materials in response to stakeholder feedback that language and cultural barriers may impede the identification of trafficking victims. Victims can also obtain assistance from the Homeland Security Investigations Tip Line which is available 24 hours a day with capability in more than 300 languages and dialects.
Stakeholders provided feedback on how DHS can support victims and focus outreach on additional target areas. Specifically, they suggested that the Department: continue to research ways to increase awareness and better identify trafficking victims; encourage coordination between law enforcement and the medical community; continue to train law enforcement and look for ways to enhance in-person trainings; encourage greater collaboration between law enforcement and NGOs, through training and outreach; distribute materials on victim assistance and find ways to tailor materials to domestic victims; conduct outreach and awareness activities for school educators and international students; examine how Continued Presence-- a form of temporary immigration relief provided by law enforcement to victims of human trafficking-- is used; engage with the faith-based community to enhance victim support; explore ways to incorporate child welfare experts in human trafficking screening for children; and modify the definition of human trafficking used on DHS materials.
DHS is examining this feedback and will incorporate suggestions into its ongoing activities where appropriate.
A number of questions posed during the stakeholder meeting addressed existing materials and how to access available resources for specific populations. The following resources are intended to address these questions:
- To request awareness materials or additional information about the DHS Blue Campaign and to sign up for updates and invitations to stakeholder meetings: BlueCampaign@hq.dhs.gov.
- Visit the DHS Blue Campaign website to access:
- Law enforcement sensitive human trafficking training for state and local law enforcement. To request the training on CD, contact firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Training for first responders.
- Resources for U.S. citizen and non-citizen victims.
- The DHS human trafficking awareness training: www.dhs.gov/files/programs/human-trafficking-awareness-training.shtm.
- Other training materials, resources, and general information on DHS anti-human trafficking efforts.
- To receive Blue Campaign updates, “Like” us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/bluecampaign.
- To ask questions of DHS law enforcement experts: ICEHumanTrafficking.HelpDesk@ice.dhs.gov.
- To request training on T and U visas and immigration benefits under the Violence Against Women Act: T-U-VAWATraining@uscis.dhs.gov.
- For information and resources on immigration benefits for victims of human trafficking and other crimes: www.dhs.gov/immigration-options-victims-crimes.
- To contact the DHS ICE Victim Assistance Program: email@example.com.
Opening Remarks and Announcements
- Tonya Robinson, Special Assistant to the President for Justice and Regulatory Policy, Domestic Policy Council, White House
- Alice Hill, Senior Counselor to the Secretary, U.S. Department of Homeland Security
Subject Matter Experts and Panelists
- Stephen Adaway, Unit Chief, Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
- Ayn Crawley, Director of Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Institute, Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties
- Ashley Garrett, National Program Manager, Victim Assistance Program, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
- Andrew Lorenzen-Strait, Public Advocate, Enforcement and Removal Operations, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement
- Dr. Kathy McKoy, Chief, Career Development and Training, Office of the Chief Component Human Capital Officer, Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Kara Park, Intelligence Analyst, Intelligence Coordination Center, U.S. Coast Guard
- Angie Salazar, Section Chief, Human Smuggling and Trafficking Unit, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations
- Scott Santoro, Program Manager, Strategic Training Development, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center
- Bill Seifarth, Emergency Medical Systems Analyst, Office of Health Affairs
- Laurel Smith, Director, Communication and Outreach, U.S. Customs and Border Protection
- Scott Whelan, Adjudications Officer, Office of Policy and Strategy, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services
- Nicole Wood, Program Specialist, Center for Faith-based & Neighborhood Partnerships