Local politics, the county, and the world, as viewed by Tammy Maygra
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Human Trafficking
By Tammy Maygra

Americans are outraged about human rights in other countries but the good ole USA has problems of its own when addressing human trafficking. Last year human trafficking rose approximately 36% here in the US. 7,572 cases involving 6,340 females, 978 males and 70 listed as "gender minorities." A total of 4,890 cases which were reported to authorities involved adults and 2,387 involved minors. In numerous cases, callers did not provide demographic information.

Trafficking is a modern day form of slavery, the perpetrators use force, coercion, fraud, to control their victims to perform labor or porn for commercial use all done against the persons will.

California, Texas and Florida were the states which human trafficking increased in 2016. The trafficking hotline received over 26,000 calls in 2016.

Portland, Oregon has become a center for human trafficking, because of I-5 and I -84 and because it has two rivers in close proximity all attractive to human traffickers. Portland has lax trafficking enforcement laws, a legal sex industry, a large population of street kids and a huge agriculture which is dependent on seasonal workers. Oregon keeps no records of human trafficking, so there is little data on the number of actual victims. Because of this it is hard to get resources to combat the problem. Portland has more strip clubs per capita than Las Vegas and has been given the title Pornland. Most strip clubs area front for trafficking.

US Senator Ron Wyden, D-Ore., introduced a bill along with Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, to help victims of sexual trafficking and provide more enforcement power against traffickers. The bill would fund pilot projects in six states to establish shelters for victims and provide counseling, legal aid, education and job training, as well as fund additional police officers and prosecutors.

Many people in Oregon refused to acknowledge the fact that Oregon was a place where human trafficking was taking place, with people acknowledging the fact that "yes" Oregon has a problem with human trafficking now the problem can and will be addressed. Although Portland has promised safe shelters for victims they have not put a time line on when these shelters would be available, so in other words Portland has given lip service to the problem just like they have made promises to the homeless issue.

Human trafficking is a multi -billion dollar criminal industry around the world. It is estimated there are 20.9 million people who are held against their will by these criminals. These thugs often promise high paying wages, travel, or an education to lure people in, then these people find themselves in the dark world of criminals with no way to get out. Often these criminals steal the passports of the chosen victim and the victim has no other choice other than to comply with the boss, or they are beat. Often the victim feels that they have no way out because they are paid nothing or very little. Often these victims are used in the agriculture industry, construction or domestic work.

Sex trafficking is the big money maker here in the US.--- Denver Colorado brought in $39.9 million while Atlanta Georgia brought in $290 million from the illicit trade. While the perps target runaways because they are easy targets, stats estimate that 1 in 6 runaways are used in this illicit business, no one is safe from these creeps as they will lure someone in by getting romantically involved and then use them for days, weeks or even years before they are discarded. Race, gender, matter not to these criminals as they will traffic anyone for profit. Trafficking is not only done by strangers but many times is done by the minors parents which makes it even worse.

Americans like to police the world, get involved in other countries, throw stones at others when the same thing is taking place at home, it is time Americans look under the rock before they throw it and start taking of problems which are happening in their communities. Human trafficking is a huge problem in every country but things could get better if we start addressing the issue by starting in our communities. We need to start enforcing laws, make stricter laws regarding strip clubs, reducing the homeless and run away problems, keep a better eye on seasonal workers etc. only then can we get a hold on this horrible crime and stop these criminals from abusing people.


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