Franken Steers Human Trafficking Bill Through Committee
Legislation Will Help End Human Trafficking in Minnesota
Yesterday, U.S. Sen. Al Franken (D-Minn.) voted in favor of the Trafficking Deterrent and Victim Defense Act. Sen. Franken was the only Democrat to originally co-sponsor the legislation and acted as a key negotiator to ensure its passage out of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
"Human trafficking in Minnesota has become a horrendous problem," said. Sen. Franken. "For years, efforts to combat human trafficking have focused on foreign victims brought into the U.S. This bill enables us to help victims of trafficking that are U.S. citizens."
The Trafficking Deterrent and Victim Defense Act would authorize a total of $45 million in block grants to fund six regional programs across the nation that will fight the sex trafficking of minors, increase the number of enforcement initiatives that target domestic trafficking, and provide better support for its victims.
Sen. Franken negotiated the addition of language to the bill that would ensure that grantees have a record of working with tribal law enforcement authorities to combat human trafficking.
This bill has the support of the National District Attorneys Association and leading national human trafficking organizations, including the Polaris Project. The bill also has the support of six Minnesota groups: Bois Forte Victims Services, Breaking Free, Civil Society, Minnesota Indian Women's Resource Center, Sensibilities Prevention Services, and Advocates for Human Rights.