Recent studies estimate that approximately 18,000 to 50,000 people are trafficked into the United States annually.
Florida is one of the top three "destination states" within the U.S. for trafficking. It's not Florida's beautiful scenery that draws them but rather industrial sectors such as a large service industry, agriculture and the presence of large airports, coastlines and other transit ports that make our state attractive to traffickers.
There is much information that we do not know about human trafficking due to the secretive nature and fear of the victims involved. However, we do know that the people who are often preyed upon by traffickers do not speak English, are very poor or vulnerable due to age, disability, education, etc. We also know of the tactics traffickers use such as kidnapping and making false promises of better lives and work in the U.S. People who are trafficked come from unstable and economically devastated places. They may have been victimized or abandoned, such as "throw away kids." Many are seeking work so that they can provide for themselves and their families. Traffickers count on economic deprivation, high rates of illiteracy and people who are desperate.
Next to drug trafficking, human trafficking is the most lucrative business for organized crime. Recent estimates show that the human trafficking business yields approximately $9 billion in profits each year. Unlike drugs and arms traffickers, human traffickers can continue to exploit their victims after the initial point of sale. Traffickers hold their victims by physically isolating or guarding them as well as coercing them psychologically. Most victims don't' even know where they are in the U.S. nor do they know that they have any rights under U.S. law.