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Human Trafficking - Prominent In South Florida

Florida is developing a new industry, and it is not what you expect. Human trafficking, or slavery if you care to use a less politically correct term, is happening throughout the southern counties of Florida.

Run mostly by organized crime syndicates, people from around the world are being encouraged to "Come to America for a good paying job," only to find out when they arrive that the advertisement was a lie. In many cases, the jobs that were promised were never available, and the people once here, have no other option but to accept the jobs they are given. Many of these people arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their back, have not eaten in days, and have nowhere to turn for help.

A Typical Scenario

Human trafficking takes many forms. Some people are brought here to perform agricultural duties; some are pushed into prostitution, some work in restaurants and resorts, while others are brought in for domestic help in the finer homes in South Florida.

A typical scenario includes a group of men being brought here with temporary work visas and told that when they arrive they will make minimum wage at a local resort performing maintenance or gardening duties.

What they find when they arrive is a shanty to stay in and a bus that picks them up each morning to take them out to the fields to pick crops at a rate of a few dollars per day. The rest of the money that they were told they made was "applied" to the cost of being brought to America.

This is just one of the many different ways that these people are abused when brought here under these circumstances.

Another typical scenario that is very common with the Chinese mafia is to bring women to America and place them in massage parlors. These women are forced to offer sexual favors in addition to the massages and receive little or no wages.

Overall Facts And Figures

While the Immigration department does not have figures posted for the incidences that occur in each state, they have released the following figures:

In 2010, there were 144 convictions for human trafficking in the U.S. out of 651 investigations that took place that year.

In 2011, there were 721 investigations, nearly 450 indictments, and 271 convictions. The Immigration department believes the figures will increase by the end of 2012.   At this rate, Florida can be facing a very real problem with human trafficking, and this problem can certainly makes its way to Orlando and the rest of central Florida. 

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