The solution outlined is not the only way to decrease the number of occurrences of human trafficking in Texas. Strict immigration reform and more aggressive human trafficking prosecution would also decrease human trafficking. By strengthening our presence on the border with Mexico and making its cities a more hostile environment, the state of Texas could deter Mexican immigrants from getting into situations that become human trafficking (Chacon 1618). By more aggressively hunting down trafficking rings and prosecuting cartel members, Texas could further discourage trafficking in the state. The plan is also likely to be met with resistance in the Legislature. Texas is known to be a Republican state. Republicans generally believe in small government influence in citizens’ lives. The outlined solution requires for state and municipal governments to actively influence change in residents’ micro-social environment. The defined plan is a blatantly liberal idea proposed to a Republican legislature. Because of this, the legislature may not pass or take too long to pass the described recommendations.
The prescribed solution is crucial for Texas to continue to combat human trafficking throughout Texas. The current systems in place do not fully address all aspects of human trafficking (Smith 3). Trafficking rings can always change tactics to avoid prosecution and continue to profit from coercing innocents to perform unspeakable acts. The State of Texas should continue to innovate its strategy until it is guaranteed that no person will ever be a victim of human trafficking ever again.
Implementing the solution does not solely rely on reallocating preexisting government resources. Texas will continue to prioritize more immediate emergency situations while reallocating and increasing funding to anti-trafficking efforts. Implementing new public awareness ideas and victims’ assistance centers will rely on funds acquired by state partners as much as it will rely on collected tax revenue (McReynolds 48). The solution described in this research paper makes Texan cities more actively involved in the overall strategy and does not position those cities to be the sole benefactors of any new anti-trafficking projects.
Holding businesses accountable for benefitting from the work of trafficked victims will not lead to devastating job loss statewide. Companies already have a legal and ethical responsibility to compensate employees for services rendered and ensure that employees are legally allowed to work in the United States. Municipal incentives simply reward companies for emphasizing anti-trafficking in their business strategies. Business owners will also have time to assess current business practices before new anti-trafficking criteria is added to the consideration process of distributing city contracts. One example of this type of legislation is the Zero Tolerance for Human Trafficking in City Service Contracts and Purchasing executive order. In 2017, Mayor Sylvester Turner of Houston, Texas signed an executive order to “encourage contractors to follow employee recruitment and labor practices that do not violate human trafficking laws” and to “affirm that the City will not conduct business with entities that have knowledge of or further human trafficking” (Turner 1). Alienating major businesses and increasing unemployment rates will not occur as a direct side effect to the improvements proposed.
Strategies involving strict immigration reform and more aggressive criminal prosecution are not viable alternatives to the improvements proposed in this research paper. Closing Texas’s border with Mexico, increasing hostility towards Texas’s immigrant community, and punishing traffickers more severely may lead to a decrease in human trafficking in Texas, but would only encourage traffickers to smuggle enslaved women and children through other states on the Mexican border. The goal in making improvements to the state’s current anti-trafficking efforts is to better equip Texan cities to eliminate human trafficking of both state residents and immigrants in the community. Texas must recognize that human trafficking is an affliction that ails the entire world for it to create viable solutions on the state level. Texas has so far failed to adequately assist victims. The guidelines listed in the TVPA and the United Nations’ Palermo Protocol are designed to be a part of a victim-centered approach to human trafficking (Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons 1). Helping people in need and at risk is the key to finally eliminating modern slavery. Providing medical care, personal legal counsel, and transitional housing programs will lead to victims seeing government efforts in a more favorable light. This will lead victims to be more forthright in providing the testimonials needed in both criminal prosecutions and public awareness (McReynolds 50).
Human trafficking is a global issue that affects Texas residents. The state and municipal governments should train more law enforcement officers, make residents more aware of human trafficking in their communities, partner with more local and national anti-trafficking organizations, and provide assistance for victims to improve on tis current efforts. Fully implementing this solution will require the mobilization of all involved but is the most comprehensive method to end modern slavery in Texas and beyond.