The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) oversees the DHS mission to combat human trafficking and the importation of goods produced with forced labor. By co-locating and augmenting existing DHS functions in a single, state-of-the-art center, it provides a “whole of government” approach to combating these crimes and will allow U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) to continue to lead the way in an integrated, victim-centered approach to the investigation of human trafficking. HSI has long been a leader in the global fight against transnational human trafficking organizations, using the full breadth of their criminal, immigration and trade-based authorities to proactively identify, disrupt and dismantle cross-border human trafficking organizations and minimize the risk they pose to the national security and public safety of the U.S.
Officially stood-up Sept. 8, 2020, with a core group of HSI experts in human trafficking and forced labor, the CCHT will be staffed with personnel from 16 DHS components and headquarters offices, including special agents, victim support specialists, intelligence research specialists and other experts focused on disrupting and dismantling human trafficking organizations and providing support and protection to their victims.
“The criminal organizations involved in human trafficking profit by targeting and exploiting our most vulnerable populations,” said CCHT Interim Director Angie M. Salazar. “I am excited to lead DHS’ effort to combat these global criminal organizations, protect victims and provide worldwide training to increase awareness and prevention of these heinous crimes.”
Reporting suspected human trafficking can help minimize or stop further victimization, as well as lead to the identification and rescue of other possible victims. To report suspicious activity, contact your local law enforcement agency. Tips can be submitted online at ice.gov/tipline, by phone at 866-DHS-2-ICE or by contacting your local HSI office.
For more information about the Department of Homeland Security’s overall efforts against human trafficking, visit dhs.gov/blue-campaign.
Public Service Announcement
Continued Presence Program
The CCHT processes all Continued Presence (CP) applications for federal, state and local law enforcement nationwide.
CP is a temporary immigration designation provided to individuals identified by law enforcement as trafficking victims who may be potential witnesses. CP allows trafficking victims to lawfully remain in the U.S. temporarily and work during the investigation into the human trafficking-related crimes committed against them and during any civil action under 18 U.S.C. § 1595 filed by the victims against their traffickers. CP not only authorizes the victim to remain in the United States for two years and is renewable but also provides a free work permit and eligibility for other federal benefits and services.
In the earliest stages of an investigation, CP is the best vehicle for federal, state and local law enforcement to obtain temporary and quick legal immigration protection for trafficking victims. This combination of protections stabilizes victims, restores self-sufficiency and improves their ability to assist law enforcement.
Please review the resources below to better understand Continued Presence and how requesting it is not only part of a victim-centered approach, but also helps to protect your human trafficking investigations and prosecutions.