Thursday, March 8, 2012

ICE agents draw fire of handling North Texas human trafficking cases

By Jack Douglas Jr., CBS 11 News
February 29, 2012 10:10 PM

DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A recently retired Dallas Police officer, with 32 years of law enforcement experience, has spoken out against the way some federal immigration agents handle human-trafficking cases in North Texas, adding to a chorus of criticism revealed only in a CBS 11 News investigation.
“They don’t take the time to look at everything,” retired lawman Joe Thompson told CBS 11’s investigative reporter Ginger Allen.
Thompson, who spent the last seven years with the Dallas Police Department as a vice and human-trafficking investigator, was referring to the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency in North Texas.
In an exclusive report last week, CBS 11 was told by two Fort Worth police officers that ICE declined to treat as a victim a young Honduran woman who was believed by others to have been taken to North Texas by an abusive trafficker.
The suspect, instead of being prosecuted as a trafficker, was deported back to Honduras. The suspect then re-entered the United States late last year, nearly catching up to the woman again in a different state until ICE agents there stepped in and rescued her.
While working as a DPD human-trafficking investigator, Thompson said he was repeatedly frustrated when he tried to get help from ICE agents in North Texas. Instead of treating the women as victims, according to Thompson, agents often treated them only as people who were in the country illegally.
“They get in too big of a hurry … they take somebody into custody, they talk to them for a few minutes, and then make their decision … Their decision is deportation,” Thompson told Allen.

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