Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) FY 2016
Investigations for Severe Trafficking and Training for Agents
THE NEED FOR FUNDING AND REPORT LANGUAGE
$15,000,000 for the FBI’s Salaries and Expenses account to investigate severe forms of trafficking in persons and report language.
Summary of Program
As the lead federal law enforcement agency, the FBI should be adequately equipped to effectively combat trafficking. In order to ensure the FBI has the necessary resources to investigate trafficking crimes, it should have additional and dedicated funding and staff for trafficking and forced labor.
Human trafficking investigations have nearly doubled since the inception of the FBI human trafficking initiative in 2004, from 86 in 2004 to 167 in 2009.29 In the same five-year span, the number of human trafficking prosecutions and convictions quadrupled.30
Specifically, in FY 2009 the FBI opened 167 human trafficking investigations, made 202 arrests, and filed 77 complaints. In addition, 121 indictments were filed in FBI human trafficking cases, and 93 convictions were obtained. That same year, the FBI assisted 13 minor victims of trafficking and dismantled seven trafficking organizations.31 Additionally, while the total number of investigations of child sex trafficking has increased from 352 to 440, the FBI reported 306 pending human trafficking investigations with suspected adult and foreign child victims, a decrease from 337 in FY 2011. This decline suggests that specialized funding for human trafficking is needed, as well as additional resources to ensure all types of trafficking cases continue to be appropriately investigated.
Continued Presence, a temporary form of immigration relief, was explicitly created under the TVPA of 2000 to provide status to potential trafficking victims. Too often victims are not receiving this form of relief in a timely matter, and additional burdens are placed on the cooperating victim as well as the service providers assisting the victim who remains without status in the United States.
ATEST requests $15,000,000, for the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s (FBI) Salaries and Expenses account to investigate severe forms of trafficking in persons. As the lead federal law enforcement agency, the FBI’s ability to combat human trafficking and modern slavery would be significantly enhanced through additional resources devoted specifically to these investigations. In addition, given that the FBI is at the frontlines of identifying victims and referring them to victim service providers, the FBI would strengthen victim protections by seeking Continued Presence for potential trafficking victims as soon as possible to assist in the prosecution of traffickers and aid in victim recovery. FBI also plays a critical role in investigating criminal organizations trafficking individuals within the United States. FBI training of agents in the field would improve the identification of human trafficking victims and the appropriate referrals to victim service organizations.
Proposed Report Language
Salaries and Expenses / Federal Bureau of Investigation
The bill provides $15,000,000 for the FBI to investigate severe forms of trafficking in persons. As the lead federal law enforcement agency, the FBI’s ability to combat trafficking and forced labor would be significantly enhanced through additional resources devoted specifically to the growing problem of trafficking and forced labor. The funding shall be used for investigations into trafficking and forced labor and providing victim witness coordinators when needed on an emergency basis.
The Committee directs FBI to identify potential victims of human trafficking and forced labor early in any FBI or FBI-led investigations and provide informational materials and referrals for victim assistance as quickly as possible prior to any legal action. The Committee encourages FBI to work with non-governmental organizations and victim service providers on victim referrals and assistance. The Committee also encourages FBI to seek: (1) Continued Presence for potential trafficking victims as soon as possible to assist in the prosecution of traffickers and aid in victim recovery and (2) assist local and state law enforcement to understand the requirements of CP and promptly respond to any state or local requests by law enforcement for CP for potential victims of human trafficking.
FBI plays a critical role in investigating criminal organizations trafficking individuals within the United States. The Committee encourages the FBI to work with appropriate non-governmental organizations and victim service providers to improve the training of FBI agents in the field to assist in the identification of human trafficking victims and provide appropriate referrals to victim service organizations.