Monday, April 24, 2006

Where is the Outrage?

The recent debate over immigration policies has engendered much ranting by pro-business types in the Republican Party who favor more immigrants for cheap labor and therefore more money in their pockets and an anti-immigration faction who, fearful of the loss of dominance by white Anglo-Saxon types, want illegal immigrants declared felons and jailed. Lost in this debate is the plight of the Mexican women and children being bought and sold as sex slaves. Sex traffickers transport at least 18,000 captives each year into the United States.

Currently, the US is one of the top destinations for sex traffickers who have become adept at penetrating suburban areas. High rates of trafficking are found in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Michigan, New York, Texas and Washington.

The southern border of the United States is the main thoroughfare for sex trafficking. Girls are smuggled in from all over the world through this gateway and smuggling is not limited to rings based only in Mexico.

Tijuana is a favorite crossing point for this illegal trade and each trafficking ring uses its own route from Tijuana into the US. Some drive into the US by flashing counterfeit documents at the border while others are slipped across the border on foot and then shuttled by van to brothels through a network of covert “safe houses” spread across the country.

The abuse, both physical and psychological, that these young girls suffer is unbelievable. The younger and most desirable often have to service long lines of men and don’t even receive any money for undergoing this terrible degradation.

What puzzles me is where in all the rhetoric over illegal immigration is the moral outrage over this despicable trading in human life. Where, for that matter, is the outrage from those who wear their religion on their sleeves? Why haven’t the Christian right who rail against abortion and homosexuality brought their considerable influence to bear on what all should agree is a morally indefensible practice.

But, there would be no supply if there were no demand. Most of the demand comes from within the United States. And while the demand is great, the supply is ever expanding and always getting younger. Children as young as 11 are forced into the slavery that will break their spirits and, for many result in death. Which for me at least raises another question: How is it in a country which has the largest number of people who declare themselves to be religious and has the highest percentage of citizens who attend a house of worship we have the highest demand in the world for this type of obnoxious, despicable sexual deviancy? I invite your comments.

David Goldberg