When it comes to the southern border between the United States and Mexico, the state of Nevada, let alone Las Vegas, are not the immediate areas of impact most people think of at first. Border states like California, Arizona, and Texas typically bear the brunt of these discussions and relevant news stories, but let’s ponder this, why should Las Vegas start being considered in the discussion? We’re not a border state but we are impacted by issues that are connected with loose border security, one of the biggest ones being human trafficking.
According to World Population Review’s 2021 Human Trafficking Statistics by state report, Nevada had the highest rate with the margin of 7.50. That breaks down to 7.5 human trafficking cases per a population of 100K people.
Since the Biden Administration has taken over, policy decisions have led to a border crisis far surpassing what was seen during both the Obama and Trump administrations. Human smugglers, often times referred to as ‘coyotes’ have taken advantage of the situation for their own financial gain. According to a report earlier this year by the New York Post, traffickers made a total of $411.5 million in February taking people from Mexico and Central American nations to the US border. With no appropriate vetting system currently in place, Nevada could see an influx of unaccompanied minors and vulnerable adults who sex traffickers here in Las Vegas could prey upon.
While the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department has remained vigilant and actively ramping up anti-sex trafficking operations across the valley, this influx could put a strain on available resources and manpower to combat a surge of trafficking cases.
Many unaccompanied minors who have crossed through the border into the United States could end up under the supervision of the foster care system. What makes these minors even more vulnerable to traffickers in Las Vegas are the low rate of success for reunification with biological parents, language barriers, and few ties after aging out of the system. According to Business Insider, in 2013, 60% of child sex trafficking victims the FBI recovered were from foster care. The convergence of this issue presented by the current crisis at our southern border and the ongoing high rate of cases in the state of Nevada should make this topic of major concern to all Nevadans.
What can be done?
We need to elect competent leaders who are educated on the issues becoming more prevalent from the ongoing border crisis and are prepared to address them head on. Sharelle Mendenhall, currently running in the race to secure her position as the GOP ticket as a US Senator for Nevada, will directly address our border crisis. She aims to push for reforms to eligibility requirements for green cards and visas which will help with the vetting process for who’s able to come into the United States through the southern border, along with reforms to the foster care system to combat those discharged from becoming tomorrow’s victims. As an anti-human trafficking advocate, Sharelle will combat human trafficking through legislation targeting coyotes at the border and partner with border patrol agents to highlight human trafficking reports to Nevadans. As a city well known for high sex trafficking rates,
Las Vegas residents should be concerned about the activities happening at the border and learn more about Sharelle Mendenhall’s senate campaign that will take critical actions to combat it.
For more information, visit www.sharelle4senate.com!