A Fort Worth, TX couple from Guinea, who are considered legal permanent U.S. residents, are in jeopardy of being deported. Mohamed Touré and Denise Cros-Touré, have both been sentenced to seven years in prison for enslaving a young woman that arrived at their home from Guinea 16 years ago. The 58-year-old woman calls the enslaved victim, her “niece.”
According to the Daily Caller – Mohamed Touré and Denise Cros-Touré, both 58, were both sentenced to seven years of prison and one five-year prison term to be served simultaneously, The AP reported Monday. The couple also must serve three years of supervised release after prison and owe the woman nearly $300,000 in restitution.
The victim could have been brought to the U.S. as young as 5-years-old and as old as 13 in 2000. She was required to cook and work in the Tourés’ home until she escaped and told officials, according to The AP.
The couple were legal permanent U.S. residents, but could lose their immigration statuses and be deported to Guinea due to the convictions, the DOJ reported.
The Tourés abused the victim when she did not follow through on orders, according to a Monday Justice Department press release. The victim was reportedly called a “dog,” was beaten with an electrical cord, was forced to shave her head and was made to sleep by herself in a park among other punishments.
“Forced labor trafficking cases are notoriously difficult to prosecute — in part because victims are often afraid to speak out,” U.S. Attorney Erin Nealy Cox said in the press statement. “It took tremendous courage for this young woman to share her story at trial. She was brought to this country at a young age, pressured to stay quiet, and forced to work for this family without pay for 16 years.”
Here is a video of Denise Cros-Touré claiming she is innocent of keeping her “niece” as a domestic slave.
According to the Dallas News – Mohamed Toure is the son of Guinea’s first president, who served in that role for 26 years. Cros-Toure’s father was the nation’s secretary of state.
During the trial, Diallo testified that she didn’t speak English when she was brought to Texas 18 years ago and had no relatives or friends here.
Diallo said her parents were farmers. When Diallo arrived in Southlake, the Toure children were told she was their cousin, she said.
Diallo said Cros-Toure told her to sleep on the floor. She said she didn’t leave the house much in those early years because “I don’t know anyone.”
She said Toure once shaved her head because Cros-Toure didn’t like the way her hair looked. She wasn’t allowed to use the children’s towels, and she could not mix her clothes with their laundry, she testified.
“One time, Denise said I smelled bad and she took me outside and hosed me off,” Diallo said.
Diallo said she cooked meals but was the last to eat. She said she did not attend school.
She also fixed appliances in the home and helped remodel parts of it with help from a neighbor, she said.
When she was disciplined for not doing chores right, it was usually at the hands of Cros-Toure, she said.
“She tried to choke me multiple times,” Diallo said. “She pulled my hair.”
When Cros-Toure beat her with a radio power cord, Diallo would try to block the blows with her hands and arms, she said.
Toure intervened one time to prevent those defenses, she said. “He sat on my back while she was hitting me,” Diallo told jurors.
When Cros-Toure’s hand was injured, she asked one of her sons to hit Diallo, she said. He did, Diallo said.
When banished from the Toure house as punishment, Diallo would go to a nearby park and curl up on a bench to sleep overnight in the cold, she said. Diallo said she warmed up in the park restroom using the hand dryer.
By 2015, Diallo was having ups and downs, but, “Sometimes things seemed normal,” she said.
The following year, everything “went downhill,” she said. Cros-Toure’s punishments – over such things as meals and dirty dishes – grew fiercer, she said. Once when Cros-Toure “attacked her,” Toure and one of the sons had to pull her off, Diallo said. And Cros-Toure told her, she said, that she was being too easy on her and she would see that situation change soon.
“Some stuff happened that year and I had enough,” Diallo told the jury.
She said she resolved to leave for good. With help from friends and neighbors, Diallo was picked up outside the Toure home in August 2016 and eventually taken to a former neighbor’s home in The Woodlands, a Houston suburb, where she currently lives, she said.
According to the White House fact sheet, there are nearly 25 million victims of human trafficking worldwide. In the United States, more than 8,500 human trafficking cases were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline last year alone.
While the case cited above did not involve the victim being trafficked across our southern border, many of the human trafficking victims first stepped foot in the United States when they were smuggled across our southern border with Mexico. The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR), outlines the significance of a wall on our southern border if we are serious about preventing the human trafficking industry to flourish in the United States.
It is ineffective. It will cost too much money. It is a medieval security measure. Anti-border enforcement advocates have dreamed up a new reason to oppose a wall or physical barrier along the southern border. It is racist.
Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) again displayed a knack for developing novel arguments to justify her novelty policies.
“The entire PREMISE of a wall is not based in fact. It’s based in a racist + non-evidence based trope that immigrants are dangerous,” she rage-tweeted.
Actually, the premise of the wall is to reduce the likelihood that illegal aliens or human and drug traffickers will successfully cross through a porous border.
If we close open border crossings, that will increasingly drive human and drug traffickers to guarded ports of entry argued Timothy Ballard, founder of the anti-trafficking organization Operation Underground Railroad.
“Although critics reject the idea of a physical barrier along the southern border for a number of different reasons, my experience leads me to the conclusion that physical barriers are a tool that we must utilize in the fight against human trafficking. Walls, barriers, physical deterrents, it doesn’t matter what they’re called, they work,” said Ballard, who comes to the issue with 12 years’ experience working as in the child trafficking unit of Homeland Security Investigations, a component of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
During his Senate Judiciary Committee testimony, Ballard stated as many as 10,000 children per year are trafficked into the U.S. to be used as sex slaves.
A wall is not the only countermeasure, but part of a comprehensive and flexible approach to toughening the border, Ballard testified.
U.S. Customs & Border Protection (CBP) Commissioner Kevin McAleenan made a similar argument. He also noted that presently 87 percent of migrants are apprehended outside of ports of entry and that traffickers continue to exploit gaps in the law and the border.
But the most compelling argument came from someone not in the room. Ballard relayed the words of Liliana, a girl who was kidnapped from her Central American village at the age of 11 or 12. She was taken to New York City and subsequently raped for money between 30-40 times a day for five years.
“Had there been a wall for me my captors would have been forced to take me to a port of entry. A U.S. officer might have seen my distress. I might have yelled out to them. I am currently working with Homeland Security agents on my case,” Ballard recalled her telling him. “I love them. I think they would have rescued me at the port of entry.” Liliana concluded, “I know many girls who came in like me…we know a wall could have saved us…”
President Trump is committed to ending the heinous, inhumane practice of human trafficking in the United States. He has been very clear about the need for a border wall if we are serious about tackling the issue.
- In the United States, more than 8,500 human trafficking cases were reported to the National Human Trafficking Hotline last year alone.
- In FY 2018, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) made 1588 Human Trafficking arrests while identifying and assisting 308 victims of the same heinous crime. ICE-HSI also made over 4,000 criminal arrests for human smuggling violations.
- 1543 of the 1588 arrests HSI made in FY 2018 for human trafficking were for sex trafficking violations.
This is an urgent humanitarian issue. My administration is committed to leveraging every resource we have to confront this threat, to support the victims and survivors, and to hold traffickers accountable for their heinous crimes.
-Donald J. Trump, President of the United States