LULAC Endorses Landmark Bill Heading To President’s Desk

Nation’s Largest & Oldest Civil Rights Organization Helps Craft Historic Bipartisan Measure Against Human Trafficking

Washington, DC - The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) today applauded U.S. Senators John Cornyn (R-TX) and Amy Klobuchar (D-MN) for their leadership in working together on the Abolish Human Trafficking Act of 2018 aimed at addressing one of the most important global crisis of our time.

“Human trafficking is a spreading plague worldwide with unspeakable harm done to untold millions of victims, mostly women, for greed and profit,” says Domingo Garcia, National President. “I am proud to have been able to work with Senator Cornyn on this legislation on behalf of LULAC and know it will strengthen and support law enforcement efforts to stop this type of crime,” he added. The measure adds to the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, a 2015 law passed under President Barack Obama to deal with human trafficking in the United States. The initial measure contained provisions enabling victims to benefit from restorative services and compensation and required these be paid by the exploiters profiting from the illicit activity. Enhanced provisions have now been added in a new proposed law.

“Senator Cornyn’s bipartisan approach was invaluable in securing broad support for additional major steps that will benefit some of the most vulnerable and exploited segments of our society,” said Roger C. Rocha, Jr., Immediate Past National President. “In our conversations, the Senator and I collaborated closely to ensure the best possible outcomes for victims who have suffered so much, often hidden away in dark and extremely dangerous circumstances,” added Rocha.

Other original co-sponsors of the bill include: Senate Judiciary Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Ranking Member Dianne Feinstein (D-CA), along with Senators Bob Corker (R-TN), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Dean Heller (R-NV), Ron Wyden (D-OR), Marco Rubio (R-FL), Chris Coons (D-DE), and Orrin Hatch (R-UT). Also, more than 50 victims’ rights and law enforcement organizations support the Abolish Human Trafficking Act.

Key highlights in the proposed legislation include:

• Empowering and Restoring Victims’ Lives
• Fighting Human Traffickers
• Increasing Awareness and Prevention, and
• Breaking the Cycle of Sexual Exploitation

Sindy Benavides, LULAC CEO, recalls her own mother’s courage as she faced very real dangers from human traffickers on her trek as an immigrant to the U.S. from Honduras. “She was carrying me in her arms, less than one year old, while holding my little brother’s hand as she protected us daily on a very long and dangerous journey,” states Benavides. “So this is very personal to me and I am grateful to Senator Cornyn, with whom I have had the privilege of working for many years. He is a statesman distinguished for his inclusive leadership who welcomed LULAC in a select committee of America’s legacy civil rights organizations that provided input and feedback on this legislation and indeed, we have made our mark,” concluded Benavides.

The League of United Latin American Citizens (LULAC) is the nation’s largest and oldest civil rights volunteer-based organization that empowers Hispanic Americans and builds strong Latino communities. Headquartered in Washington, DC, with 1,000 councils around the United States and Puerto Rico, LULAC’s programs, services and advocacy address the most important issues for Latinos, meeting critical needs of today and the future. For more information, visit www.LULAC.org

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