Legislation proposed for tougher measures against human trafficking in Texas

10:10, November 23, 2010      

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A legislation was proposed to increase penalties against human trafficking in the U.S. state of Texas, one of the country's major hubs for human trafficking, according a news report on Monday.

A legislation proposed by Senator Leticia Van de Putte would make a 2009 anti-human trafficking law more like the sex crime laws in the state. The proposed law would require convicted traffickers to serve at least half their sentence before being eligible for parole, and would increase the minimum for repeat offenders to 25 years in prison, the newspaper Houston Chronicle reported.

One of the most important new tools is a change in the law that would allow enforcement to detain child victims to allow police to seek help for the victims and continue their investigation, said Van de Putte.

According to a report submitted in 2009 by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott, almost 20 percent of the 800,000 trafficking victims in the United States travel through Texas. And the biggest human trafficking centers in Texas are Houston and El Paso.

Trafficking victims tend to be immigrants who were lured into the country under false promises of employment, Chris Burchell, president of the advocacy group Texas Anti-Trafficking in Persons, was quoted by the Houston Chronicle as saying.

U.S. citizens who have been introduced to drugs also could end up as trafficking victims, Burchell said.

Source: Xinhua


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