Todd Rignel from Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) came all the way from Bellingham to give a presentation for us! HSI is a part of Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, and they handle cyber crimes, smuggling, and human trafficking investigations.
Agent Rignel shared about cases involving agricultural trafficking, housekeepers kept as slaves, and sex trafficking of foreign victims in the U.S. He also explained how difficult it can be to reach victims to share information about their rights and resources available to them, regardless of immigration status. He even explained the Trafficking Victims Protection Act and the “T” Nonimmigrant status (no easy task).
HSI is one of the groups who collaborates in WashACT, the Washington Advisory Committee on Trafficking that brings together law enforcement, service providers, government officials and community groups. For more info on their work, check on his presentation: HSI Presentation.