04.22.15

Daines Statement on Bipartisan Passage of Human Trafficking Bill

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Senator Steve Daines today applauded the long-overdue passage of the bipartisan Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, critical legislation Daines has co-sponsored to help victims of human trafficking.

“I’m glad that the Senate finally took the long-overdue step forward and approved this bipartisan legislation to help victims of modern-day slavery. Too often, victims of human trafficking are underserved and fail to get the resources they desperately need.  This bill will provide our law enforcement officials and communities with the necessary tools to help lift these innocent victims out of the shadows. Montanans know firsthand the importance of cracking down on the perpetrators of these crimes and ensuring that we are proactively serving as an advocate for victims — without letting partisan politics get in the way. It’s encouraging that my colleagues were able to come together to do what is right for the victims of human trafficking.”

Earlier today, Daines spoke on the Senate floor urging his colleagues to join him in voting to pass the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

Montana Attorney General Tim Fox also applauded the Senate passage of the bill:

“I applaud the U.S. Senate for passing the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.  Modern-day slavery knows no borders. While Montana and other states are taking steps to combat this problem and help victims rebuild their lives, it’s vitally important that federal laws work in tandem with state-level efforts. I’m grateful to Senator Daines and all who fought to get this bill through the Senate.”

Daines is a co-sponsor of S.178, the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act.

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 through the 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.

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