Human trafficking is a multi-billion dollar industry. It is a serious global issue, United Nations, International Labor Organization, claims, “there are at least 12.3 million enslaved adults and children around the world ‘at any given time’” (UN). Millions are trafficked every year around the world whether it is for labor or prostitution. There are many aspects of the current border wall debate; one aspect of it is: with a border wall would it reduce human trafficking into the U.S.?
Some might believe that having a border wall will have no impact on the number of people trafficked into the U.S. from Mexico; and, maybe they are right. According to Martina Vandenberg, the founder and president of the Human Trafficking Legal Center, said: “Most of the victims we work with come in on perfectly good visas,” (Krajeski). Although, this is most and not everyone. Having a border wall will reduce the number of humans trafficked into the U.S. and prevent stories like Liliana’s from being told. Liliana was eleven when she was kidnapped from her home; then she was taken across a portion of the U.S.-Mexico Border where the was no wall; then transported and trafficked, to New York. Where there she was sexually exploited for five years. “ ‘Had there been a wall for me,’ she declared, ‘my captors would have been forced to take me to a port of entry. A U.S. officer might have seen my distress. I might have yelled out to them…. I think they would have rescued me at the port of entry’ ” (Ballard). A border wall will force traffickers to ports of entry which there they are more likely to get caught.
Those in favor of the wall believe human trafficking at the U.S.-Mexico Border is a serious issue that needs to be solved with a wall. The U.S. Department of State (2005) estimated that 70% of all sex trafficked persons are trafficked from Mexico to the U.S., 50% of which are minors who are trafficked for prostitution (Department of State).Will building the wall reduce this number? Will it force traffickers through legal ports of entry? Will that increase the apperenshion rate? According to the Department of Homeland Security, once the wall was built in San Diego in 1992, illegal traffic dropped 92% over 23 years; El Paso (1993) dropped 72% in one year; Tucson (2000) dropped 90% over 15 years; Yuma (2005) dropped 95% over 9 years (DHS).
This provides convincing evidence that a wall, in fact, does work. Having in a wall will decrease illegal traffic across the border and force traffickers to try to enter through ports of entry where there is a greater possibility that they would get caught. If we built walls where people have tried to cross illegally, it can help decrease the statistic of human trafficking and prevent stories like Liliana’s from being told.
As noted previously, the are a large number of people who have been exploited for labor and sex trade. Statistically, areas that previously did not have physical barriers, had large influxes of illegal trafficking/immigration. Once barriers were erected, the amount of illegal immigration/trafficking dropped significantly. A wall will not solve all of immigration problems like how treaties do not solve all of countries problems; however, it will add one more proven and effective layer of security between the exploitation of innocent children, women and men. We cannot turn the other cheek when it comes to modern day slavery in our country.
Ballard, Tim. “Tim Ballard: I’ve Fought Sex Trafficking at the Border. This Is Why We Need a
Wall.” DeseretNews.com, Deseret News, 4 Feb. 2019,
Government, U.S. “Border Security.” Department of Homeland Security, 30 Jan. 2019,
Government, U.S. “Human Trafficking.” Remembering Two 9/11s | U.S. Customs and Border
Krajeski, Jenna. “The Hypocrisy of Trump’s Anti-Trafficking Argument for a Border Wall.” The
New Yorker, The New Yorker, 6 Feb. 2019,