Secretary Napolitano highlighted the Department's progress in 2011, emphasizing the major steps the Department has taken this year to enhance America's capabilities to combat human trafficking and secure the nation's borders.
- DHS collaborated with the Department of Justice (DOJ) and other Federal agencies on the Federal Interagency Task Force on Drug Endangered Children and, through Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, offered training in FY 2011 on Domestic Violence and Drug Endangered Children to law enforcement professionals across the country at the federal, state, local, tribal and territorial level.
- DHS expanded the Blue Campaign, a Department-wide initiative to coordinate and enhance efforts to address human trafficking. Seventeen components collaborated on an integrated DHS strategy to combat human trafficking for the first time in DHS history. The strategy focuses on a multi-pronged approach including prevention, protection of victims, and assistance in prosecuting perpetrators.
- Together with DOJ and the Department of Labor (DOL), DHS announced new Anti-Trafficking Coordination Teams in six cities around the country. These specialized teams receive support from DHS, DOJ and DOL human trafficking investigations and prosecutions technical experts.
- ICE conducted more investigations with a nexus to human trafficking in 2011 than ever before, resulting in more than 700 new cases, 270 convictions, and seized assets of over $2 million. In recognition of the needs and unique challenges of interviewing trafficked minors and other child and special needs victims, ICE doubled the number of Forensic Interviewers available to support ICE-led investigations.
- Due to increased public outreach, for the second year in a row, USCIS reached the statutory cap for U visas (10,000), which provide relief for victims who cooperate in the investigation or prosecution of crimes including human trafficking and domestic violence. USCIS also granted additional T visa applications, which are set aside specifically for victims of human trafficking.
- ICE continued its Hidden in Plain Sight campaign to educate the public about human trafficking, including outreach in over 70 countries and training more than 47,000 law enforcement around the world.
- To prevent human trafficking, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) produced public awareness campaigns that have run in the United States and south of the border, and distributes anti-human trafficking awareness materials at ports of entry. In 2011, CBP expanded its No Te Engañes (Don’t Be Fooled) human trafficking public awareness campaign to the United States. CBP also worked with the Department of Transportation and the Federal Aviation Administration to launch Blue Lightning, a program to educate airline employees to identify human trafficking in airports or during flights, and notify law enforcement.
- ICE, USCIS, and the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center offered training on combating human trafficking and immigration benefits for victims to federal, state, and local law enforcement and non-profit organizations.