Sen. Cruz: ‘We Will End Modern Day Slavery in the State of Texas, in the United States, and Across the World’
Last week I joined Texas lawmakers and local leaders at a press conference recognizing efforts across Texas to combat human trafficking. There, I said:
Thank you for the great work you're doing tackling human trafficking. Thank you for everyone here who's committed to helping kids, to helping women, to helping men trapped in modern day slavery. It is horrific that this scourge exists. It is shameful that we're living on planet Earth at a time when millions are trapped in slavery. It is heartbreaking that Texas is a central locus of human trafficking. The University of Texas estimates that in the state of Texas alone, over 300,000 victims of human trafficking are in Texas. That's an outrage. That is horrific. That is evil. That is wrong.
Praising A21, Clear Channel, and the Outdoor Advertising Association of Texas for uniting together in their ‘Can you see me?' campaign to end human trafficking crimes in Houston and throughout the state, I added:
I want to commend everyone here for standing up and working against it. If you look at this organization here, you look at the partnership between A21 and Clear Channel and the Outdoor Advertising Association--well this is announcing together a statewide campaign of billboards and public announcements in over 70 Texas cities...We can solve this problem. It's a combination of public awareness, which is what this announcement is today of law enforcement going after and shutting down traffickers...There are people who will commit horrific acts of evil. But you know what, while there is evil there is also good. And this announcement today, as the community, as the state of Texas say that good will stand up to evil, that we will not permit this atrocity to continue in the state of Texas. We will end sex trafficking. We will end modern day slavery in the state of Texas, in the United States, and across the world.
I have been a strong advocate against human trafficking crimes leading legislative efforts including:
- The Visa Transparency Anti-Trafficking Act: Sens. Richard Blumenthal (D-Ct.) and I previously introduced this legislation in the 115th Congress. This bipartisan legislation would combat human trafficking by inserting important transparency measures into our U.S. nonimmigrant visa system by asking the Department of Homeland Security to submit an annual report on nonimmigrant visa applicants, grantees, recruiters, and employers. The goal is to make good use of the information already provided to the U.S. government and give law enforcement as well as local communities the resources they need to identify vulnerabilities in the system and keep likely victims from harm.
- The Stop Enabling Sex Traffickers Act: I co-sponsored this bipartisan legislation in the 115th Congress, which was signed into law by President Trump. This law seeks justice for victims of sex trafficking and ensures that websites that knowingly facilitate sex trafficking are held liable and brought to justice for their crimes.