For Immediate Release
Office of the Press Secretary
WASHINGTON—Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano today met with anti-human trafficking non-governmental organization (NGO) and victim service leaders to discuss the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) progress to protect the victims of human trafficking and bring their traffickers to justice. This event comes one year after the launch of the Blue Campaign—a first-of-its-kind, DHS-wide initiative to combat human trafficking through enhanced public awareness, victim assistance programs, and new personnel training and initiatives.
“The Department is committed to leveraging our wide range of expertise and resources to combat human trafficking,” said Secretary Napolitano. “Together, with our partners, we are working to better identify human trafficking, protect victims, and bring perpetrators to justice.”
During the meeting, Secretary Napolitano joined U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Director John Morton, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Director Alejandro Mayorkas, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar, Federal Law Enforcement Training Center (FLETC) Director Connie Patrick, and Blue Campaign Chair Alice Hill to highlight the important work of NGOs committed to ending human trafficking by providing vital services to victims and supporting them as they integrate into the community.
Secretary Napolitano discussed the Department’s progress over the past year educating the public about indicators of human trafficking through initiatives such as CBP’s recent expansion of the “Don’t be Fooled” campaign—which uses public service announcements to educate and increase awareness for human trafficking in communities across the United States – and highlighted the training videos created by DHS’ Office for Civil Rights and Civil Liberties and FLETC to provide DHS personnel with tools to identify the signs of human trafficking and respond appropriately.
Secretary Napolitano also underscored the Department’s efforts to support victims of human trafficking through outreach campaigns including a USCIS informational video, narrated by human trafficking survivors to raise awareness for immigration relief available for victims. Victims of human trafficking are eligible for T visas and U visas – protections allowing them to remain in the United States and assist federal authorities in the investigation and prosecution of human trafficking cases.
The Secretary recognized U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement on the expansion of their Suspension and Debarment Program, which penalizes individuals and companies convicted of human trafficking through debarment from conducting business with federal agencies - a critical step forward in bolstering efforts to discourage and punish human trafficking offenders.
For more information, visit www.dhs.gov/humantrafficking.