Daines: It’s Time for Democrats to Put Politics Aside and Do What’s Right for the Victims of Human Trafficking

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today called on Senate Democrats to put politics aside and end their obstruction of the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

“Montanans know firsthand the immeasurable damage that human trafficking has inflicted on our communities, our schools, and most of all, the victims of these horrific crimes. We also know the importance of coming together to support the victims of this modern-day slavery,” Daines stated. “That’s why I can’t understand why some Senate Democrats are obstructing this bipartisan, broadly supported bill. It’s unconscionable that anyone would rather place political games above abolishing human trafficking and securing long-overdue justice for thousands of victims. It’s time for Democrats to put politics aside and do what’s right for the victims of human trafficking.”

Daines serves as a cosponsor of S. 178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, which was passed last month by the Senate Judiciary Committee with a 19-0 vote. In recent weeks, some Senate Democrats have blocked numerous efforts to move forward consideration or amend the bipartisan bill.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act would implement several provisions to curb human trafficking, including: 

  • Increasing federal resources available for domestic human trafficking victim support by up to $30 million through creation of a “Domestic Trafficking. Victims’ Fund,” financed through fines on related crimes
  • Creating a grant program to help states and local governments develop victim-centered programs to rescue victims, prosecute human traffickers, and restore the lives of victims. 
  • Directing that the proceeds of forfeited criminal assets be used to pay victim restitution orders and fund financial awards for witnesses who come forward and assist law enforcement.
  • Requiring human traffickers to be treated as violent criminals for purposes of pre-trial release and detention pending judicial proceedings. 
  • Clarifying current law to encourage law enforcement, prosecutors, judges, and juries to target and punish the buyers and purchasers of trafficking victims the same as all other human traffickers.