President Trump's immigration policy could benefit human traffickers, warns University of Northampton lecturer

Senior law lecturer at the University of Northampton, Dr Simon Sneddon
Senior law lecturer at the University of Northampton, Dr Simon Sneddon

Donald Trump’s ban on citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries entering the US could play into the hands of human traffickers, according to the University of Northampton’s expert on organised crime.

The President of the United States of America’s executive order to halt travel from Iraq, Syria, Iran, Yemen, Sudan, Libya and Somalia has provoked a wave of condemnation from international leaders and politicians.

While the order, signed on Friday, is designed to keep people from entering the States, Senior Law Lecturer, Dr Simon Sneddon, believes it could have the opposite effect.

“Whenever a state tightens up its borders, it has the effect of making a certain section of society outside think ‘it must be really good over there, what are they hiding?’. So it actually makes America more desirable as a destination, in a way.

“Combine this greater desire to get into the States with the tightening of border controls, and it’s clear the real winners are the illegal human traffickers.

“This won’t stop them operating, it will just push up the price they can demand from the victims they are trafficking.”

He added: “President Trump has this all the wrong way around. He is putting together immigrants and people who are trafficked, and vilifying them as criminals, but they are victims, it is the traffickers who are the criminals and he is the one who is fuelling their trade.”

Dr Sneddon also believes President Trump’s latest move could be a disaster for his country’s tourism trade, and its ability to attract key workers.

“There’s no doubt the strength of feeling against Trump is growing across the world, and I think the number of people who might consider holidaying in the US will reflect this over time.”

He added: “America, just like other Western countries, relies on migrant workers to carry out the ‘3D jobs’ – the dirty, dangerous and difficult menial jobs. So if you stop the flow of migrants, you’re risking these jobs becoming unfilled.

“Skilled people will also be less inclined to pursue a career there, too. For example, if I were to be contacted by a US university, saying they’d like me to work for them, I would be less enthusiastic about the prospect of living in an America ruled by President Trump.”