Chris Smith bill to battle human trafficking overwhelmingly approved by House

New Jersey congressman: “Human traffickers never take a holiday, nor can we’

By David WildsteinJuly 27 2022 10:04 am

Legislation aimed at combatting human trafficking sponsored by Rep. Christopher Smith (R-Manchester) was passed by the U.S. House of Representatives on Thursday by a vote of 401-20.

“Human traffickers never take a holiday, nor can we,” said Smith.  Because traffickers and the nefarious networks they lead always find new ways to exploit the vulnerable, especially women and children, we must aggressively strengthen laws and their implementation.”

This bill reauthorize the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Angel Watch Center, which Smith said made “more than 19,000 notifications of planned travel by convicted sex offenders with more than 7,000 individuals who committed sex crimes against children denied travel, helping to reduce child sex tourism.”

The law would provide over $1.1 billion over the next five years for shelters, mental health care, education, life skills and vocational training.

Smith has authored five laws on human trafficking since 2000, when he passed the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.  The latest bill – the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Act – was co-sponsored by Rep. Karen Bass (D-Los Angeles).

“The enormous support in the House for this critical human rights and law enforcement legislation is a testament to a widespread consensus and underscores the absolute urgency for securing the funds needed to protect victims, prosecute perpetrators and prevent trafficking from occurring in the first place,” the 21-term congressman stated.

All twelve members of the New Jersey delegation voted for the bill.  Twenty House members, all Republicans, voted against the measure.

Smith’s bill now heads to the U.S. Senate.