Trump confirms he will sign trafficking bills into law

January 4, 2018

Mark Schremmer

|

President Donald Trump recently designated January as National Slavery and Human Trafficking Prevention Month and confirmed that he will soon sign into law two bills aimed at preventing human trafficking in the trucking industry.

A proclamation signed by President Trump estimated that 25 million people are victims of human trafficking for sex and labor.

“Human trafficking is a modern form of the oldest and most barbaric type of exploitation,” the proclamation stated. “It has no place in our world. This month we do not simply reflect on this appalling reality. We also pledge to do all in our power to end the horrific practice of human trafficking that plagues innocent victims around the world.”

The Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act passed the House on a vote of 418-1 in December. Bill S1536 was sponsored by Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and designates a human trafficking prevention coordinator. Specifically, the bill “directs the Department of Transportation to designate an official to coordinate human trafficking prevention efforts across DOT modal administrations and with other federal agencies, and take into account the unique challenges of combating human trafficking within different transportation modes.”

The No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act, S1532, would disqualify someone from having a commercial driver’s license if they committed a felony involving a severe form of human trafficking. The bill, which was originally sponsored by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., passed the House unanimously in December.

Both bills advanced to the White House. Trump confirmed through his proclamation that he plans to sign both bills into law sometime this month.

“These bills will keep those who commit trafficking offenses from operating commercial vehicles, improve anti-human trafficking coordination within federal agencies and across state and local governments, and improve efforts to recognize, prevent and report human trafficking,” Trump wrote.

Truckers Against Trafficking openly supported Klobuchar’s bill but not Thune’s bill, which imposes the CDL ban.

“While Truckers Against Trafficking would like to see every convicted human trafficker behind bars and severely penalized, we don’t believe this bill goes far enough. CDL holders convicted of human trafficking shouldn’t be the only ones losing their professional license,” said Kendis Paris, executive director of TAT. “What about the hotel staff who willingly allow their locations to be used to facilitate a crime? We’d like to see a more comprehensive bill move forward that doesn’t single out just one profession.”

Mark Schremmer, senior editor, joined Land Line in 2015. An award-winning journalist and former assistant news editor at The Topeka Capital-Journal, he brings fresh ideas, solid reporting skills, and more than two decades of journalism experience to our staff.