Chinese Sex Slaves: The Forgotten Immigrants

Martin County, Florida, sheriff William Snyder increasingly resembles Casablanca’s Captain Louis Renault who expressed “shock” that there was gambling at Rick’s Café Americain. We know the reason for the fictional gendarme’s incredulity; the real lawman’s surprise at prostitution and human trafficking taking place in his front yard is a bit harder to understand.

News reports out of Jupiter, Florida, say more than 170 individuals face charges in what may be part of a $20 million human-trafficking network that stretches from South Florida to China. Authorities say they have video evidence of wealthy white men from as far away as New England buying sex from Chinese women at a strip-mall massage parlor and spa.

There is much more to this sordid story, however, than grubby guys paying for something they could do for themselves at home for free. The story provides a prime opportunity to take a hard look at the stark truth behind the dirty little secret of our nation’s failed immigration policies.

Each year, as many as 17,500 victims of human trafficking come into this country, according to U.S. State Department estimates. No one knows for sure the accuracy of that number, just as no one knows how many of those victims end up in the sex slave industry. That is because human rights groups, ethnic organizations, labor unions, and other religious and social entities who are first in line to declare racism and discrimination when defending people who voluntarily sneak into this country, refuse to acknowledge the overt abuse and degradation of foreign sex slaves.

The State Department says the U.S., Japan, and Australia are the top three destination countries for sex traffickers; California, New York, and Texas have the most sex trafficking activity in this country.

Evil women recruit vulnerable females for sex slaves, according to U.S. Immigration and Custom Enforcement officials. These women promise their victims jobs as models and waitresses, not explaining the modeling jobs are in the nude and the table service involves rape.

And here is what the immigration pimps do not want us to know about the holes in our nation’s immigration laws and enforcement. Immigration officials say that sex slavers fly their victims to Canada or Mexico (transit countries), then herd or drive them into the U.S. (destination country). The route from Canada crosses Native American reservations where Border Patrol agents cannot go. From Mexico, sex slaves follow the same trails carved by Central Americans illegally entering our country.

Thanks to civil rights groups, Arizona cops cannot detain a person solely to check immigration status that could lead to victims of sex trafficking. Apparently forced sex slavery is not a civil rights violation in the eyes of some folks.

A few years ago, if a Houston cop with nothing to do wanted to put a dent in the city’s sex-slave industry fueled by 24-hour massage parlors and spas, he or she could pick up the latest issue of the Houston Press. At the time, the weekly publication carried scores of display ads for these places, most featuring photos of Asian girls. The online edition carried more explicit ads like 2 NEW pretty SeXy Asian Girls, or Full Body Massage! Asian Girls.

The ads also came with reviews, like those for restaurants, so a guy would know what he was getting into, so to speak. “This location in SW Chinatown is economical ($35.00 per hour base rate, plus tips) and the girls are friendly, but plain. The place also looks a little dirty. They have a shower, but I wouldn’t use it because it’s a little dirty. The gals keep clean though and they give good happy endings. A good place for a guy on a budget.”

Today, an online search for massage parlors in Jupiter, Florida, returns reviews for places where you can “enjoy a revitalizing erotic massage from a therapist straight out of a fairy tale happy ending.” Indeed. Maybe instead of breaking his arm patting himself on the back, the local sheriff should let his finger do the walking through online sites featuring sex trafficking in his county.

Civil rights activists seem to ignore open sex slavery because they do not want to tie human trafficking to enforcement of our nation’s immigration laws. It is more probable, however, that immigration pimps and self-serving politicians do not care about the rights or plights of Asian sex slaves in their cities, because these women will never get to vote, and, therefore, have no political currency.

John David Powell is an award-winning journalist living in Texas. His email is

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