Texas to Get Tough on Human Trafficking and Sex Trafficking
Human Trafficking and Sex Slavery are the hidden issues of our broken immigration system. Women and underaged girls forced to perform sexual acts to pay of the debt to their human trafficking smugglers or the debt of their families. Under a new law being proposed by San Antonio Senator Leticia Van de Putte (D), Texas may become a place where this is not a good idea from a business perspective.
In a story in the Houston Chronicle this week, Sen. Van de Putte proposes extending the statute of limitations for traffickers and will make persons convicted of sex trafficking register as "sex offenders".
"This bill gives district attorneys the tools they need to prosecute and also makes sure we begin to treat these victims not as criminals, but as victims," Van de Putte said.
One need only browse that web pages of BackPage.com (Caution - ADULT CONTENT) to see the extent of the problem in the Houston area. This content is duplicated in every major city in Texas.
In a previous TexasGOPVote article I talked about Attorney General Greg Abbott's emphasis on this difficult problem facing Texas and about Harris County's efforts to have impact in deterring trafficking.
Texas Governor Rick Perry addressed this issue in Houston this week stating, "Trapped between the law and the lawless, victims of human trafficking suffer under inhumane conditions, forced into activities they'd never imagined with their captors threatening to kill them, or even their families, if they don't comply." He continued, "In Texas, we must do everything possible to ensure more people don't fall into the trap of human trafficking, and to make sure that the people behind these insidious acts pay the price for their crimes."
The legislation also makes life sentences automatic for repeat offenders and creates separate definitions for sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Children who have been forced into prostitution will be allowed certain provisions similar to sexual assault cases under the Texas law.
A similar bill authored by Rep. Senfronia Thompson, D-Houston, is working its way through the House.