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Wednesday, June 19th, 2024

Senate panel advances bill targeting human trafficking

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A group of lawmakers recently commended the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee’s advancement of the IMPACTT Human Trafficking Act, which supports individuals impacted by human trafficking.

The bill introduced by Sens. Gary Peters (D-MI), James Lankford (R-OK), and John Cornyn (R-TX), which now moves to the full Senate for consideration, would make permanent and expand the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) Victim Assistance Program.

“The federal government must support victims of human trafficking, as well as the professionals who work each and every day to stop these crimes,” Peters, chair of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said. “This common sense, bipartisan legislation will ensure we can help victims of human trafficking crimes recover and provide Homeland Security Investigations agents, victim assistance specialists, and others with the tools and resources they need to disrupt human trafficking organizations and protect victims.”

Bill proponents said it would also bolster and make permanent an existing program ensuring the well-being of HSI employees and partners exposed to repeated stress and associated trauma via their work supporting victims and investigating the crimes.

“Human trafficking along our southern border is at an all-time high, and the problem is only getting worse,” Lankford said. “Battling cartels, abuse, and trauma, human trafficking survivors have been through enough. It’s critical that survivors – along with the professionals helping them – have access to the resources they need to get the justice and closure they deserve. This bipartisan effort will make that a reality and continue the work to end human trafficking.”