Michael J. Garcia, Assistant Secretary, U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement, Remarks for U.S. Coast Guard Intelligence Coordination Center's Fourth Annual Human Smuggling and Illegal Migration Conference, April 6, 2004 [open pdf - 87KB]
Michael J. Garcia: "I appreciate the opportunity to speak to an increasingly serious threat to global security -- human smuggling and trafficking. The smuggling of human beings is not only a pressing law enforcement and security challenge in the United States. It also poses an urgent moral challenge here and around the world. The full scope of human smuggling and trafficking is difficult to ascertain. But we do know it is a common practice that is only becoming more widespread. It is estimated that existing networks facilitate the smuggling of up to two million people globally each year. We know the United States is a primary target for smugglers and traffickers, which means that literally tens of thousands of men, women, and children are entering this nation illegally each year " undocumented, undetected, and unprotected. Human smuggling networks are a serious vulnerability, posing a tremendous threat to our nations security. The global criminal networks that have made human smuggling and trafficking a profitable enterprise could readily be tapped - for the right price - to help terrorists cross our borders or gain entry to our ports. Similarly, the routes and methods they use to transport human cargo could easily be used to transport weapons of mass destruction across borders or into ports."
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement: http://www.ice.gov/