Washington, D.C. Newsroom, Jun 12, 2022 / 04:00 am
U.S. Rep. Chris Smith of New Jersey is proposing bipartisan legislation to aid survivors of human trafficking. The issue, he told CNA, is a pro-life one.
“I'm animating my entire work here by Matthew 25, when our Lord said, ‘Whatever you did for the least of my brethren, you did for me,’” he emphasized to CNA at a June 9 press conference outside of the U.S. Capitol Building, promoting the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2022 (H.R.6552). As with advocating for the unborn, advocacy for these women, he said, falls under protecting society’s weakest and most vulnerable.
With the input of survivors on top of years spent studying the issue, Smith, a Republican, authored the act together with Rep. Karen Bass, a Democrat from California.
The legislation would reauthorize the Trafficking Victims Protection Act of 2000, also authored by Smith, his office said. It would provide roughly $1 billion over five years to strengthen and expand education, restorative care, and other critical programs that protect victims, prosecute perpetrators and prevent trafficking.