A Republican congressman from the Sunshine State is pairing up with a Democrat from New Jersey to crack down on human trafficking.
On Thursday, U.S. Rep. Ted Yoho, R-Fla., teamed up with U.S. Rep. Jeff Van Drew, D-NJ, to showcase two bills focusing on reducing human trafficking.
At the end of last week, Yoho introduced the “Collecting Official Measurements and Baselines to Assess Trafficking (COMBAT) Act" which would have the federal government “determine the parameters for quantifying domestic trafficking in persons and require a comprehensive study on domestic human trafficking.” This bill, which Van Drew cosponsored, was sent to the U.S. House Judiciary Committee.
Yoho also brought out the “Prevent Trafficking in Our Schools Act" which creates a pilot program in the U.S. Departments of Homeland Security and Education to enable teachers to spot signs of human trafficking in their schools. The bill was sent to the U.S. House Education and Labor Committee and Van Drew is cosponsoring it.
On Thursday, Yoho and Van Drew weighed in on the bills.
“The fact that modern slavery exists is unacceptable,” Yoho said. “It is upsetting that victims of human trafficking are being brought into and sold within the United States daily. Progress has been made combating this horrendous industry, but more must be done. Many victims of human trafficking are students in the American school system. School administrators and staff are well-positioned to identify, and report suspected trafficking cases to law enforcement and connect victims with organizations that provide resources for prevention and rehabilitation. The two bills I introduced with Congressman Jeff Van Drew today will aid in the fight by focusing on prevention and accurately quantifying how many people are being trafficked in our country.”
“Human trafficking is modern day slavery and we should do everything we can to root out this evil,” Van Drew said. “We cannot attack what we do not know and that’s why I’m proud to introduce these common-sense bills with Congressman Yoho. These vital pieces of legislation would give us a better picture of the scale and magnitude of this horrendous crime and teach teachers how to spot signs of trafficking and tools to respond accordingly.”
So far, there are no companion bills for either of Yoho’s proposals over in the U.S. Senate.