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Human Trafficking is Still an American Problem

Jeffery Epstein didn’t kill himself. At least that’s the popular notion among Americans. Americans are almost certain that he was murdered to prevent his testimony from ever seeing the light of day.

After his arrest on July 6th, 2019 for the trafficking and exploitation of minors in both New York and Florida, Americans joked that he would be murdered or commit suicide before ever being able to testify about his high-profile client list. Memes on the internet circulated almost instantly and water cooler gossip was rampant after his arrest. As names began to surface, his situation began to seem more and more dire. Bill Clinton, Prince Andrew, and actors like Kevin Spacey and Naomi Campbell were revealed as passengers on his “Lolita Express.” Most Americans knew what was coming.

On August 10th, just over a month after his arrest, Jeffrey Epstein was found unresponsive in his cell. He was rushed to the hospital in cardiac arrest and died as a result of his injuries. He had hung himself, at least, according to the reports. Americans were told video surveillance of the incident was destroyed “Accidentally.” With his death, he was cleared of all charges and the media dropped the case. Americans would never know the real story.

Then, in July of 2020, a new arrest was made. Epstein’s right-hand man, or woman, in this case, was arrested in relation to allegations of procuring and sexually trafficking minors. She was found on a large estate in New Hampshire, carefully being guarded by former members of the British Military. The implication of Prince Andrew through Epstein’s logbooks makes this bit of information even more interesting. The world is still waiting to hear what she may or may not have to say.

Americans, however, have largely forgotten the case, even though it is still ongoing. Epstein has become a punchline in bar jokes and the fodder for conspiracy theories on the internet. The fact is, Americans don’t care to hear the rest of the story. It is largely ignored by the media, and thus, less likely to be discussed. Instead, the news of the day marches on and the case is forgotten.

Human trafficking, however, is still very much a problem.

President Trump championed a program called “Operation Talon” aimed at identifying, locating, and arresting sex offenders living in the United States illegally. After the successful arrest of tens of thousands under the program, President Joe Biden has canceled it. That fact, combined with Biden’s stance on border crossings, weakens our defenses against human trafficking substantially.

In 2018 President Trump signed legislation known as FOSTA/SESTA into law. These laws created an exception to the 1996 Communications Decency Act to combat online sexual exploitation and decrease online prostitution.  This legislation spelled the death of infamous websites such as Backpage and forced the closure of Craigslist’s personal’s section. These websites blatantly danced around the law under the protections provided by the 1996 law. President Trump closed the loophole.

Recently, the National Center for Exploitation has released its “Dirty Dozen” list, which has highlighted the fact that sexual exploitation is more mainstream than ever.  The “Dirty Dozen” list is released annually and aims to call out mainstream entities that profit from or facilitate sexual abuse or exploitation. Companies on that list include media giants like Amazon, Twitter, and Netflix, lesser know sites like Reddit and Discord,  and even whole states such as Nevada.

With the recent history of the Jeffery Epstein case and the implication of some very influential people in this country and worldwide, sexual exploitation is a bigger problem than ever before. The Hollywood elite, American politicians, and even British Royalty have been implicated in the commission or facilitation of these crimes. Even as current politicians are slashing protective laws, the media refuses to cover them.

The border wall project backed by President Trump has been unceremoniously dumped by President Biden, the borders are essentially open, and human traffickers are entering the country freely. Special programs meant to curtail the illegal residency in the United States by known sex offenders, such as Operation Talon, have been scrapped by the Biden administration as well. The internet regulations meant to shut down the open trafficking online have pushed traffickers to other, more mainstream sites rather than stop them.

Americans are dealing with unprecedented levels of sexual exploitation and the trafficking of our children across state and international lines, and safety measures once in place are being removed or circumvented. The media’s decision to ignore it will only fuel the average American’s reluctance to face it.