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< Back to current issue of Immigration Daily < Back to current issue of Immigrant's Weekly

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[Congressional Record: July 27, 2000 (Senate)]
[Page S7781-S7782]
From the Congressional Record Online via GPO Access [wais.access.gpo.gov]
[DOCID:cr27jy00-110]                         



 
               TRAFFICKING VICTIMS PROTECTION ACT OF 2000

  Mr. HATCH. I ask unanimous consent that the Senate now proceed to the 
consideration of Calendar No. 584, H.R. 3244.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report the bill by title.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       A bill (H.R. 3244) to combat trafficking of persons, 
     especially into the sex trade, slavery-like conditions, in 
     the United States and countries around the world through 
     prevention, through prosecution and enforcement against 
     traffickers, and through protection and assistance to victims 
     of trafficking.

  There being no objection, the Senate proceeded to consider the bill.


                           Amendment No. 4027

  Mr. HATCH. My understanding is Senators Brownback and Wellstone have 
an amendment the desk.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Utah [Mr. Hatch], for Mr. Brownback and 
     Mr. Wellstone, proposes an amendment numbered 4027.

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent unanimous consent 
reading of the amendment be dispensed with.
  (The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record under 
``Amendments Submitted.'')


                Amendment No. 4028 to Amendment No. 4027

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, I have a second-degree amendment at the 
desk, and I ask for its consideration.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The clerk will report.
  The assistant legislative clerk read as follows:

       The Senator from Utah [Mr. Hatch] proposes an amendment 
     numbered 4028 to amendment No. 4027.

  Mr. HATCH. I ask unanimous consent the reading be dispensed.
  (The text of the amendment is printed in today's Record under 
``Amendments Submitted.'')
  Mr. WELLSTONE. I rise today to address the serious and widespread 
problem of international trafficking in persons, particularly women and 
children, for the purposes of sexual exploitation and forced labor, and 
to seek your continued support for legislation aimed at curbing this 
horrific crime.
  Trafficking in persons becomes more insidious and widespread 
everyday. For example, every year approximately one million women and 
children are forced into the sex trade against their will. A recent CIA 
analysis of the international trafficking of women into the United 
States reports that as many as 50,000 women and children each year are 
brought into the United States and forced to work as prostitutes, 
forced laborers and servants. Others credibly estimate that the number 
is probably much higher.
  Those whose lives have been disrupted by civil wars or fundamental 
changes in political geography, such as the disintegration of the 
Soviet Union or the violence in the Balkans, have fallen prey to 
traffickers. Seeking financial security, many innocent persons are 
lured by traffickers' false promises of a better life and lucrative 
jobs abroad. However, upon arrival in destination countries, these 
victims are often stripped of their passports and held against their 
will, some in slave-like conditions. Rape, intimidation and violence 
are commonly employed by traffickers to control their victims and to 
prevent them from seeking help.
  Trafficking rings are often run by criminals operating through 
nominally reputable agencies. In some cases overseas, police and 
immigration officials of other nations participate in or benefit from 
trafficking. In other cases, lack of awareness or complacency among 
government officials, such as border patrol and consular officers, 
contributes to the problem. Furthermore, traffickers are rarely 
punished as official policies often inhibit victims from testifying 
against their traffickers, making trafficking a highly profitable, low-
risk business venture for some.
  In April my esteemed colleague from Kansas and I introduced separate 
bills to combat trafficking in persons. I introduced S. 2414, the 
Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, and he introduced S. 2449, 
the International Trafficking Act of 2000. But, although we earlier 
introduced these separate bills, we would like to relay to you the 
truly bipartisan effort this has been. This effort is reflected in the 
bill we passed today.
  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 is a comprehensive 
bill that aims to prevent trafficking in persons, provide protection 
and assistance to those who have been trafficked, and strengthen 
prosecution and punishment of those responsible for trafficking. It is 
designed to help federal law enforcement officials expand anti-
trafficking efforts here and abroad; to expand domestic anti-
trafficking and victim assistance efforts; and to assist non-
governmental organizations, governments and others worldwide who are 
providing critical assistance to victims of trafficking.
  The Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000 addresses the 
underlying problems which fuel the trafficking industry by promoting 
public anti-trafficking awareness campaigns and initiatives to enhance 
economic opportunity, such as micro-credit lending programs and skills 
training, for those most susceptible to trafficking. It also increases 
protections and services for trafficking victims by establishing 
programs designed to assist in the safe reintegration of victims into 
their community, and ensure that such programs address both the 
physical and mental health needs of trafficking victims. Further, the 
bills seek to stop the practice of immediately deporting victims back 
to potentially dangerous situations by providing them interim 
immigration relief and the time necessary to bring charges against 
those responsible for their condition. It also toughens current federal 
trafficking penalties, criminalizing all forms of trafficking in 
persons and establishing punishment commensurate with the heinous 
nature of this crime.
  This bill requires expanded reporting on trafficking, including a 
separate list of countries which are not meeting minimum standards for 
the elimination of trafficking. It authorizes the President to suspend 
assistance to the worst violators on the list of countries which do not 
meet these minimum standards. This discretionary approach provides the 
flexibility needed to combat the complex, multi-faceted, and often 
multi-jurisdictional nature of this crime, while maintaining the 
prospect of tough enforcement against governments who persistently 
ignore, or whose officials are even complicit in, trafficking within 
their own borders. It allows Congress to monitor closely the progress 
of countries in their fight against trafficking and gives the 
Administration flexibility to couple its diplomatic efforts to combat 
trafficking with targeted action that can be tailored to the individual 
country involved.
  Since we began working on this issue, Senator Brownback and I have 
met with trafficking victims, after-care providers, and human rights 
advocates from around the world who have reminded us again and again of 
the horrible, widespread and growing nature of this human rights abuse. 
Today this Chamber has taken an important first step toward the 
elimination of trafficking in persons. We are thankful for your 
support.
  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President I ask unanimous consent that the amendment 
be agreed to, the substitute amendment be agreed to as amended, the 
bill be read the third time and passed, the motion to reconsider be 
laid upon the table, the Senate then insist on its amendment, request a 
conference on the part of the Senate, and any statements relating to 
this action be printed in the Record.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.
  The amendments (Nos. 4027 and 4028) were agreed to.
  The bill (H.R. 3244), as amended, was read the third time and passed.
  The Presiding Officer (Mr. Smith of Oregon) appointed from the 
Committee on the Judiciary, Mr. Hatch, Mr. Thurmond, and Mr. Leahy; 
from the Committee on Foreign Relations, Mr. Helms, Mr. Brownback, Mr. 
Biden, and Mr. Wellstone, conferees on the part of the Senate.

[[Page S7782]]

  The PRESIDING OFFICER (Mr. Bennett). The Senator from New Hampshire.
  Mr. SMITH of New Hampshire. I thank the Chair.
  (The remarks of Mr. Smith of New Hampshire pertaining to the 
introduction of S. 2962 are located in today's Record under 
``Statements on Introduced Bills and Joint Resolutions.'')
  Mr. SMITH of New Hampshire. Mr. President, I yield the floor.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. The Senator from Washington.
  Mrs. MURRAY. Mr. President, I ask unanimous consent to speak as in 
morning business.
  The PRESIDING OFFICER. Without objection, it is so ordered.

                          ____________________




							  
							  


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