Mr. Speaker, the deviants of the slave trade operate all around us. Human trafficking occurs in our country, our States, and in our cities.
January, Human Trafficking Awareness Month, seeks to bring light to this scourge against humanity: nothing more than modern-day slavery. We must not only remain vigilant but must go after the buyers and sellers in the sex trafficking trade.
This is one of them right here. That is why I have introduced, along with CAROLYN MALONEY, the Shame Act, to expose the identity of convicted traffickers and buyers of human beings.
The Shame Act allows judges to publish the names and photographs of convicted traffickers and buyers in public places, such as on billboards. Mr. Speaker, as a judge in Texas, I successfully used shame punishment.
It worked. Dubbed ‘‘poetic justice’’ by the media, I learned that the last thing criminals want are their faces exposed to the public.
Traffickers and buyers must know they cannot hide behind their dastardly crimes. It is time to send a message loud and clear about human trafficking: not in our cities, not in our States, not in our Nation, not anymore.
And that is just the way it is.