McCaul to Convene Field Hearing on Human Trafficking at Texas Southern University

Mar 14, 2014 Issues: -

U.S. House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Michael McCaul (R-Texas) will hold a field hearing entitled “Combating Human Trafficking in Our Major Cities,” at Texas Southern University on Thursday, March 20, 2014 at 10 a.m. CT.  

Houston is a large international city with the second busiest port in the nation, and is host to many high profile events including the Super Bowl in 2017. The city’s commerce and proximity to the Southwest Border make it a magnet for domestic and international human trafficking. This hearing will focus on Houston as a case study to further understand trafficking in major U.S. cities. Witnesses will include trafficking survivors and local, state and federal law enforcement.

THURSDAY, March 20 at 10 a.m. CT

House Homeland Security Committee Field Hearing

Combating Human Trafficking in Our Major Cities

Texas Southern University, Roderick Paige Education Building, Auditorium (Rm. 116), 3100 Cleburne Street, Houston, TX

Invited Witnesses Include:
Panel I

  • Mr. Brian M. Moskowitz, Special Agent in Charge, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Homeland Security Investigations, Houston, Texas
  • Col. Steven C. McCraw, Director, Texas Department of Public Safety
  • Sheriff Adrian Garcia, Harris County, Texas
  • Ms. Ann Johnson, Assistant District Attorney, Office of the District Attorney, Harris County, Texas

Panel II

  • Mr. Robert “Bob” Sanborn, PhD, President of Children at Risk, Houston, Texas
  • Cheryl Briggs, Trafficking survivor and founder of Mission at Serenity Ranch, Spring, Texas
  • Ms. Kathryn Griffin-Townsend of the “We’ve Been There Done That” Organization, Houston, Texas
  • Dr. Reena Isaac, Child Abuse Pediatrics section of Emergency Medicine, Texas Children's Hospital

Members of Congress:
Rep. Michael McCaul (R-Katy), Chairman
Rep. Ted Poe (R-Houston)
Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Corpus Christi)
Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (D-Houston)
Rep. Gene Green (D-Houston)

Chairman McCaul on the hearing: “Human trafficking is a growing epidemic around the world. In the United States, more than 14,000 people – men, women and children – are trafficked each year. While its close proximity to major highways, ports-of-entry and the Mexican border make Houston a model city for commerce, human traffickers are taking advantage of these means to exploit domestic and international victims. DHS and its components are working together to combat human trafficking every day. However, we must do more to root out and stop this horrific crime.

“The purpose of this hearing is to raise awareness and find ways to bring an end to human trafficking across the country, beginning by examining the movement across our Southern border. I am grateful for the survivors who have bravely agreed to join us to shed critical light on this issue, and I look forward to hearing from federal, state and local witnesses on their experiences in combating human trafficking and ways we can improve our efforts.”

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Facts About Human Trafficking:

  • Human trafficking is not human smuggling. Trafficking victims are sold into prostitution and forced labor.
  • An estimated 100,000 U.S. children become victims of sex trafficking annually (Source: Government Accountability Office). 
  • An estimated 1 out of 3 runaway children are lured into trafficking with 48 hours of leaving home (Source: Children at Risk).
  • The average age of entry into sex trafficking is 12-13 years old (Source: Children at Risk).