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Crackdown

States Toughen on Human Trafficking

Yes, human slavery still exists in America—but fortunately, lawmakers across the country are stepping up efforts to crack down on it. More than 40 bills have been enacted by state legislatures over the last year, a significant increase from the eight such laws that were enacted in 2006. Lawmakers are pushing through such tough measures as forcing employers to notify foreign workers of relevant labor laws and seizing known traffickers’ assets. According to the Polaris Project, an anti-trafficking group, it’s not about “brute force” anymore—modern traffickers often use threats and blackmail, or exploit immigrants by seizing their travel documents. A recent Justice Department survey estimated that as many as 17,500 immigrants are trafficked here each year, and 250,000 children are victims of trafficking.

July 18, 2010 4:29 PM