Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) pushed anti-human trafficking legislation during the GOP’s Weekly Address on Saturday.
Transcript (via ABC News Radio) as Follows:
“I’m U.S. Senator Chuck Grassley of Iowa.
This year, thousands of minors will be sexually trafficked in the United States.
Through threats or deceit human traffickers will force children and teenagers into servitude for cheap labor and as sex workers.
Too often we hear that this sort of thing just ‘doesn’t happen where I live.’
The cruel truth is that trafficking is found in all 50 states.
Whether your home state is big like New York, or small like my home state of Iowa, it could be a hub for trafficking.
Turning our heads the other way because we’re embarrassed or in denial won’t help these under-aged victims.
Shoving this horrific activity into the shadows only denies opportunity for a young girl or boy who deserves much better.
In Washington, I’m chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee.
I’m working to advance legislation that would establish strong anti-trafficking measures that target predators who traffic innocent young people.
At a recent Judiciary Committee hearing about how we can better protect victims of human trafficking, witnesses sounded the alarm.
We listened to horrific and gut-wrenching stories directly from the victims and advocates.
We listened to stories of children being sold into prostitution.
We listened to an account of girls being branded by their trafficker.
We listened to stories about boys and girls who thought the only way to survive was to sell themselves for sex.
And, then, we heard that when it couldn’t get any lower for these victims, America’s criminal justice system failed them by actually treating them like criminals.
Nobody should have to endure being sold into prostitution or made to work in unlivable conditions.
We must do better.
Through the tragedy and heartache, good ideas are emerging.
We’re learning directly from victims and victim advocates how Congress can create better policies to help those who have suffered such unimaginable pain.
And, now it’s time for action.
Senate Republicans are committed to tackling the human trafficking problem all across the country.
My Judiciary Committee started the process and approved an anti-trafficking bill by a unanimous vote.
And, next week, the full Senate will begin debate on this legislation to ensure that additional resources are available to survivors of both sex and labor trafficking.
The legislation expands resources for law enforcement, enhances services for victims, and increases penalties for perpetrators.
Our legislation focuses on helping survivors of trafficking heal, and protect others from becoming victims of such a terrible crime.
In addition, the bill would fight demand for domestic sex trafficking by ensuring that any person who is trafficking an adult or purchasing a child for sex will be punished under the full force of the law.
We’ve put forth meaningful solutions that are supported by a large, bipartisan group of senators and more than 200 outside organizations.
It’s evidence that Congress can set aside partisan differences and work together to get things done for the American people.
The United States Senate has a real opportunity to provide these survivors of trafficking with the kind of support that is essential to their recovery and future success.
Working together, we can stop criminal depravity and restore dignity to survivors.
With passage of bipartisan legislation, we can bring justice to the moral injustice and criminal mistreatment of our fellow human beings.
The road to their recovery needs to start right now.”
Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett