Alone and scared. That's the reality for many victims of human trafficking. Each year, nearly 20,000 people are trafficked to the U.S. - many of them women and children. These individuals endure traumatic journeys to enter the country, and once here, face lives of brutality, slavery and sex.
Journalist Mary A. Fischer details a recent Los Angeles human trafficking investigation led by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agent Tracy Cormier in her recent Reader's Digest article, "Freedom Fighter."
Young girls from Guatemala, some as young as 13, were lured to America under the premise of finding "good jobs as nannies and waitresses," according to Fischer. However, she goes on to say, they are forced to live "under appalling conditions, often trapped in an insidious practice known as debt bondage-forced to repay neverending loans to their captors for travel, food, and shelter."
Fischer's article exposes the vile industry of human trafficking and how ICE agents, along with a network of law enforcement agencies, combat it. Those interested in reading the full version of "Freedom Fighter" can find it in the October 2010 Reader's Digest magazine or through a paid subscription to readersdigest.com.