A city becomes a prime location for human trafficking when it hosts the Super Bowl, a busy and heavily attended event. Hundreds of thousands of tourists visit for the National Football League’s big game. This makes it easier for traffickers to hide the movement and sale of their human wares.

Super Bowl LVII, set for Sunday in Las Vegas, presents greater than normal obstacles for law enforcement targeting human traffickers.

President Joe Biden’s border policies have allowed millions of illegal aliens into the U.S., thus increasing the number of human trafficking victims.

Las Vegas, where the Kansas City Chiefs will meet the San Francisco 49ers, is less than 300 miles from the southern border.

The host city’s laws on sex work add serious difficulties. Nevada has allowed prostitution since 1971, the only state to do so.

Federal, state, and local governments began taking action against human trafficking in Las Vegas well ahead of the Super Bowl.

Sen. Catherine Cortez Masto, D-Nev., asked the NFL to disclose its efforts to combat human trafficking surrounding the game.

“Specifically, we want to ensure we’re working together to prevent and respond to any increase in human trafficking that could occur alongside this major event,” Masto said in a press release.

 “We know it is a priority for the National Football League (NFL) and its philanthropic foundation to raise awareness about and take steps to address human trafficking issues,” she added.

Kimberly Small, CEO of the local nonprofit Signs of Hope, which fights sexual violence and exploitation, talked about the issue in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun.

“We do focus a lot of our resources around these larger events because we know that there’s going to be an uptick in numbers,” Small said, referring to sex trafficking and the Super Bowl.

To counter this, Signs of Hope has partnered with the Las Vegas police. The nonprofit said it would follow numerous police officers, helping to identify potential sex trafficking cases leading up to Sunday’s game.

The nonprofit aided officers in a similar manner during Formula One’s Las Vegas Grand Prix race in November. The Las Vegas Sun, citing police, reported that Signs of Hope’s efforts resulted “in more than 70 arrests and identifying 200 victims of trafficking.”

Despite state officials and local nonprofits taking action, researchers on human trafficking have weighed in, the Biden administration is not doing the one thing that could have the most impact on human trafficking in the U.S.: closing the southern border.

According to the U.S. State Department, 72% of human trafficking victims are immigrants. With over 14,000 human trafficking cases a year, that comes down to just over 10,000 cases a year.

Human trafficking is the second-fastest-growing criminal enterprise. This means the numbers are likely higher than reported.

The Biden administration recently has been in a legal battle with the state of Texas over control of the southern border. Texas is attempting to curb the number of illegal aliens the administration has allowed to cross over from Mexico by lining up storage containers topped with barbed wire.

A direct connection exists between the border crisis and child trafficking, according to a 2023 report from Emma Waters, a research associate in The Heritage Foundation’s Devos Center for Life, Religion, and Family. (The Daily Signal is Heritage’s news outlet.)

About 60% of children who cross into the U.S. unlawfully will end up in “prostitution, forced labor, and child pornography,” the report says.

The Biden administration reported releasing over 400 children last year to “nonrelated” adults in the U.S. Most of these individuals had other children already in their care, officials said.

Last April, a whistleblower told Congress that the U.S. government is the “middleman” in the multibillion-dollar industry of human trafficking of minors through the porous southern border.

Half of the most wanted child traffickers sought by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement are from Mexico, according to Waters’ report.

“The link between human trafficking and the porous southern border highlights the need for strong border security,” Waters told The Daily Signal. “The Biden administration’s negligent enforcement at the southern border directly corresponds with the increase in human trafficking into the United States, especially during major national events such as the Super Bowl.”

Waters also criticized Nevada’s legalization of sex work.

“The legality of prostitution, along with increased demand for such services, will not only increase the ‘supply’ of women and children, but it will be more difficult to catch traffickers,” she said.

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