One bill aimed at preventing human trafficking in the trucking industry was passed by Congress on Tuesday, Dec. 19, while another was expected to come to a vote on Wednesday, Dec. 20.
The Combating Human Trafficking in Commercial Vehicles Act passed the House on a vote of 418-1 on Tuesday. 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 and 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.”
Truckers Against Trafficking supports Klobuchar’s legislation. The bill passed the Senate in September.
“TAT is hopeful that the passage of S1536 will enable additional government agencies to combat human trafficking in even more strategic ways,” said Kylla Lanier, deputy director of Truckers Against Trafficking.
The No Human Trafficking on Our Roads Act, S1532, was debated on the House floor on Tuesday. The bill, which was originally sponsored by Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., would “disqualify from operating a commercial motor vehicle for life an individual who uses such a vehicle in committing a felony involving a severe form of human trafficking.”
Truckers Against Trafficking has not endorsed Thune’s bill, which also passed the Senate in September.
“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.”
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