Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

The Bandera Review Logo

Laredo News

Congressman Cuellar Allocates $1 Million for Human Trafficking Research at TAMIU

Congressman Henry Cuellar, representing Texas's 28th Congressional District, revealed on February 21, 2024, the allocation of $1,000,000 to Texas A&M International University (TAMIU) for the establishment of a human trafficking research program.

The funding, secured by Dr. Cuellar in the FY23 Appropriations bill, is intended to support evidence-based training for healthcare workers and educators who may encounter victims of human trafficking. TAMIU's selection as the recipient is grounded in its strategic location in Laredo, a city where various law enforcement agencies converge to safeguard the border and community. This positioning renders TAMIU ideal for examining the multifaceted issues contributing to both international and domestic instances of human trafficking.

Dr. Cuellar, a key figure within the House Appropriations Committee, emphasized the importance of the program in bolstering the efforts of law enforcement, healthcare professionals, and trade in Laredo. He expressed gratitude to key figures involved in realizing the project, including John Sharp, Chancellor of The Texas A&M University System, Dr. Pablo Arenaz, President of TAMIU, and Dr. Claudia San Miguel, TAMIU Provost and Vice President of Academic Affairs.

Chancellor Sharp lauded TAMIU's leadership in addressing the pressing issue of human trafficking, attributing its success to the collaborative efforts with Congressman Cuellar, an alumnus of the Texas A&M University System.

Dr. Arenaz underscored the significance of universities as hubs for research-driven solutions, highlighting TAMIU's unique capacity to tackle human trafficking through data-driven investigation, leveraging its research prowess, partnerships with law enforcement agencies, and expertise in international commerce and health issues.

Dr. San Miguel, the Principal Investigator of the Center for Countering Human Trafficking, emphasized the need for a multidisciplinary, data-driven approach to combat human trafficking effectively. She outlined the Center's mission to develop curricula empowering educators and healthcare workers to identify victims and curb trafficking.

The initiative also involves students in collecting intelligence on human trafficking under faculty supervision, further informing future research and practices. The allocated funding will facilitate outreach to local law enforcement and healthcare providers, support data analysis, procure technology, and develop instructional materials.

Human trafficking, characterized as one of the most lucrative transnational crimes, generates an estimated $150 billion annually, according to the U.S. Department of State. Dr. Cuellar's initiative seeks to mitigate its impact by equipping frontline workers with tools and knowledge to combat this pervasive issue.

You May Also Like