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‘Baby Seller’ Debuts on Lifetime; UN Hails Effort To Educate Public About Trafficking of Infants

WASHINGTON – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agents attended a VIP screening event Monday at the United Nations for “Baby Sellers,” a Lifetime Original Movie about the illegal sale and trafficking of infants.

The event, which included a panel discussion on human trafficking, was attended by television and movie stars, nongovernmental organizations and representatives from ICE, who had collaborated with Lifetime officials and the movie’s executive producer Robert Halmi Sr.

The movie premiers on Lifetime Saturday at 8 p.m. EDT and 7 p.m. CDT.

ICE participated in the movie process to expose broad audiences to the fact that human trafficking is real and happens in the United States.

“By bringing this into the living rooms of families, it empowers them to know that this is going on out there. Maybe the next time, people will relate to that,” said HSI New York Deputy Special Agent in Charge Anthony Scandiffio, who helped consult with Lifetime on the film.

The screening of “Baby Sellers” was attended by Ewan McGregor and Emmy winner Jennifer Finnigan, who stars in the movie as an HSI special agent who stumbles across a human trafficking ring that specializes in the sale of infants from India, Mexico and Brazil to American families.

The movie shows Finnigan travelling the world, busting an organized baby-selling ring, and in the process, throwing some punches. Finnegan said she trained for days with stunt men, who helped her move and fight like a special agent.

“I think they were a little concerned,” she joked, “because, like, a switch flipped on, and I immediately was like, just throwing down.”

In addition to Finnegan, the film also stars Kirstie Alley as Carla Huxley, a well-respected, influential owner of a major U.S.-based adoption agency that helps prospective parents fulfill their dream of having a family.

Finnigan plays Nic Morrison, a dedicated, tough-as-nails HSI special agent who believes Huxley is fueling a global business that stops at nothing to find the right child for the right owner – at the right price – and goes undercover to bring her operation down.

“I very much admire what HSI special agents do: how they want to help, how they want to fight for people’s rights and for justice,” Finnegan said. “More than anything, I just wanted to project the intelligence that the HSI agents have, and project the caring and the passion that they have for their job.”

In the past few years, ICE has been working with various film and TV producers to educate audiences about the agency and the type of investigations and operations ICE conducts, which includes not only human trafficking, but cybercrime, financial crimes, counter proliferation of weapons, intellectual property theft and more. The agency has offices in all 50 states and in 48 foreign countries.

According to U.S. State Department, the global market for child trafficking is over $12 billion a year with over 1.2 million child victims. The United States is a destination country for thousands of men, women and children trafficked from all areas of the world. Many of these victims are forced or coerced into prostitution, domestic servitude, and other types of forced labor, or are bought and sold for profit.

ICE, the largest investigative agency within the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS), works with its domestic and foreign law enforcement partners to dismantle global criminal organizations engaged in human smuggling and human trafficking. ICE also works in partnership with nongovernmental organizations to identify, rescue and provide assistance to trafficking victims. Learn more about ICE’s efforts to combat human trafficking by visiting http://www.ice.gov/human-trafficking/.