Loretta Sanchez’s Human Trafficking Bill Advances




WASHINGTON, D.C. — Congresswoman Loretta Sanchez (CA-46), senior member of the Homeland Security Committee, released the following statement on today’s Full Committee markup in the House Committee on Homeland Security.  Sanchez’s DHS Human Trafficking Prevention Act of 2016 successfully passed in Full Committee markup today.  Along with Sanchez’s human trafficking bill, six bills encompassing the recommendations made by the Task Force on Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel, which Rep. Sanchez served as Democratic Lead on, also passed.  

The DHS Human Trafficking Prevention Act of 2016, which Rep. Sanchez introduced with Rep. Martha McSally (R-AZ) in January, is bipartisan legislation that prevents and combats the crisis of human trafficking into the United States by taking action to address serious gaps in information gathering and sharing processes at the Department of Homeland Security. 

During Committee markup, Ranking Member Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) recognized Rep. Sanchez as a leader among the Homeland Security Committee on the issue of human smuggling and hailed Sanchez’s human trafficking bill as “timely” and “commonsense” legislation that “holds the promise of saving lives.”  

“I am thrilled that this important bipartisan legislation has passed markup and I thank my colleagues on both sides of the aisle for their support in tackling this pervasive human rights crisis and atrocious crime,” said Rep. Sanchez, member of the Congressional Caucus on Human Trafficking. “It’s infuriating and unacceptable that known human traffickers have been able to exploit our own visa programs to traffic their victims into the United States, which is why we are taking action.” 

Ranking Member Thompson also commended Rep. Sanchez and the Task Force on Combatting Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel for “delivering a report that sets forth a roadmap for improving our ability to prevent terrorists and individuals who have battlefield experience from Syria or Iraq from traveling to the U.S. and carrying out attacks.”

“This bipartisan group, led by Representatives Katko and Sanchez, took on the painstaking process of identifying actions that could be taken by DHS and across the Federal government,” said Rep. Thompson.

Rep. Sanchez said, “I believe it is important that we examine the threats and develop solutions to effectively address the growth of violent extremism. The six pieces of legislation which passed through Committee today will help us train and prepare for the complex and evolving threats that we face.”

In February 2015, The House Committee on Homeland Security created the bipartisan Task Force on Combating Terrorist and Foreign Fighter Travel in response to the threat from extremists fighting overseas and the danger they pose to the U.S. homeland and Sanchez was designated the lead Democrat on the Task Force.