Hurd Pushes To End Human Trafficking
Washington, D.C. - The U.S. House of Representatives today passed several strongly bipartisan bills focused on ending human trafficking. A roughly $10 billion industry in the United States, Texas trails only behind California with the highest number of reported human trafficking cases.
"There is a major lack of awareness that this is happening in our own communities, and the facts are haunting,” said U.S. Representative Will Hurd (R-TX). "With over 800 miles of border within the 23rd Congressional District of Texas, this problem is closer to home than we think. The majority of alien smuggling activity in all of Texas occurs in the Rio Grande Valley, making it more of a priority than ever to secure our porous borders. It is our responsibility as human beings to prevent human exploitation, protect the victims, and punish the offenders."
According to a 2011 Department of Justice report, over 80 percent of suspected incidents involve sexual exploitation and half of the victims are children. As cited by the 2014 Texas DPS study on Human Trafficking in Texas, Mexican cartels facilitate, control, or benefit from nearly all human smuggling activity along the Texas-Mexico border.
"These bills will implement prevention training programs for government employees, fund care and rehabilitation for victims, and provide necessary resources for law enforcement to identify and destroy organized human trafficking rings,” continued Hurd. "Every parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, and family member should be angry that this is happening in our backyards. For the sake of our nation’s vulnerable, we must work together to put an immediate end to this atrocity."