July 24, 2014
The District of Columbia’s human trafficking laws trail behind a number of U.S. states. While there is no one-size-fits-all approach to reform, there are several components of an effective anti-human trafficking legal infrastructure that policymakers should consider. One critical element is victim assistance. To be successful, anti-trafficking laws must provide for important victim services including housing, counseling, medical and legal assistance, as well as educational and vocational training.
July 21, 2014
The surge of undocumented, unaccompanied Central American and Mexican children crossing the southern border of the United States is overwhelming Border Patrol facilities. Between October 1, 2013 and June 15, 2014, over 52,000 undocumented minors have been detained along the border, according to Alejandro Mayorkas, Deputy Secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Much of the recent influx has been attributed to rumors that the United States is offering amnesty to children who make it across the border. Although the Obama administration denies this, the misperception of leniency may be motivating parents to protect their children from rampant gang violence at home by entrusting them to coyotes, hired guides who promise to bring the children safely across the border.
July 14, 2014
On May 20, 2014, the United States House of Representatives passed a package of bills created to combat this nation’s human trafficking problem. Noting that almost 300,000 children in the United States may become victims of human trafficking annually, the New York Times heralded Congress’s commitment to finding a solution. Two of the bills stand out as exemplars of anti-trafficking legislation. H.R. 3530 and H.R. 3610 received broad bipartisan support in the House and will now move to the Senate for consideration.