By Houston Chronicle
After an FBI operation that rescued over 100 children from sex trafficking, Texas Rep.
Sex trafficking is prevalent in Texas, with Houston being known as a major hub. Children across the United States are being forced into sexual acts against their will, and lawmakers are demanding to end this tragedy by targeting the buyer.
Poe, a former state district judge from Humble, introduced the End Sex Trafficking Act of 2013, H.R. 2805, to ensure that the buyers are subject to the same punishment as the trafficker.
H.R. 2805 expands the language of existing legislation to allow law enforcement to do interstate prosecution of the consumers involved in sex trafficking cases.
With young children often being caught in the middle of sex trafficking,
“Our culture in this country needs to understand that when young girls are forced into prostitution against their will, especially minors, they are not prostitutes, they are victims of crime, and we should regard them as victims of crime,” said
Sen. John Cornyn, R-Texas, and Sen. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., are offering similar legislation in the Senate, to make it a federal crime to purchase sexual acts from a trafficker. Klobuchar said today that
Cornyn and Klobuchar are both on the Senate Judiciary Committee and feel confident that the Senate legislation will pass in their committee.
Poe is on the House Judiciary Committee and believes that the House bill will acquire bipartisan support.
Rep. Kay Granger, R-Fort Worth, Rep. Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y., and Rep. Rick Nolan, D-Minn., also sponsored the bipartisan House bill.
The Trafficking Victims Protection Act that is already in place prosecutes the trafficker, but the buyer is not prosecuted at a Federal level.
“This bill strengthens and clarifies federal law to ensure that buyers of sex from minors and other trafficked victims are arrested, prosecuted, and sentenced where they belong: jail,” said
The End Sex Trafficking Act of 2013, if enacted, will address the demand in the sex trafficking industry at a Federal level in order to prevent the need for supply.
Over 85 groups across the country have signed on in support of this legislation, including the Texas Association Against Sexual Assault, Texas CASA and World Vision International.