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house Bill H.R. 460

Do DHS Employees Need To Learn How To Detect And Disrupt Human Trafficking?

Argument in favor

Anything that the Department of Homeland Security can do to prevent human trafficking in the U.S. is worthwhile, especially with something as straightforward as increasing training.

JonRunyan's Opinion
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04/02/2015
Need to do what we can I know there is a lot more we can be doing.
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Loraki's Opinion
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10/13/2016
I'm voting "YEA," but you need to take the TSA out of the equation. They are FAR TOO CORRUPT AND INEPT! As for the rest of DHS, I expect that they will do better under a Trump Administration. Jeh Johnson needs to go!! Obama has turned them into a weapon focused on his idea of who our enemies are, rather than on who they REALLY are! Rubio To Kerry On Politicized Human Trafficking Report: Show Me The Paper Trail AUG 13 2015 Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, urged Secretary of State John Kerry to reconsider Cuba’s ranking in the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, and demanded he turn over all prior drafts of the Cuba portion of the report, the names of all State Department and White House officials who signed off on the Cuba section, and a copy of the Cuban government’s national action plan to combat trafficking.   “The politically driven manipulation of the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report is an embarrassment for the Obama Administration that threatens to set back U.S. efforts against human trafficking around the world,” wrote Rubio. “For over 15 years, the report has helped encourage foreign governments to tackle human trafficking, if for no other reason than to avoid being named and shamed by the U.S. Now, according to whistleblowers within the State Department, the Administration has announced to the world that it will allow political considerations to trump real reform.   “It is important that the TIP report remain a true reflection of the trafficking situation on the ground and that a country’s rating never be determined by political considerations but by the country’s true record on this issue,” Rubio continued. “The decision to upgrade Cuba without substantial evidence of improvement is the worst form of politicization of an important anti-trafficking tool. Cuba is a human slave state.”   Rubio first said the TIP report needed to be based on reality not politics immediately after its release and again following reports that human trafficking experts were repeatedly overruled and pressured by senior State Department officials into inflating assessments of 14 strategically important countries in this year’s report.   A PDF of the letter is available here, and the text is below: http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=files.serve&File_id=7DA1B26F-2A6E-49EB-8083-08CFBF989289   August 13, 2015   The Honorable John Kerry Secretary of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20220   Dear Secretary Kerry,   The politically driven manipulation of the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report is an embarrassment for the Obama Administration that threatens to set back U.S. efforts against human trafficking around the world. For over 15 years, the report has helped encourage foreign governments to tackle human trafficking, if for no other reason than to avoid being named and shamed by the U.S. Now, according to whistleblowers within the State Department, the Administration has announced to the world that it will allow political considerations to trump real reform. President Obama and his Administration have set a dangerous precedent with this trafficking report that could lead countries to believe they can negotiate their way out of having their human trafficking abuses highlighted. This is a great disservice to the millions of people who have been victimized or are vulnerable to human traffickers.   The most glaring example is the politically driven improvement of Cuba from the “Tier 3” category to the “Tier 2 Watch List”. Since the State Department began evaluating Cuba in 2003, it has been placed on Tier 3 every year. Over the past year, Cuba has done almost nothing to combat human trafficking. In fact, while the 2015 trafficking report claims there were improvements in certain areas, Cuba still has not even bothered to create a single law that identifies labor trafficking as a crime. Additionally, the progress which was identified in convicting sex trafficking cases was minimal, an improvement of 3 cases in 2013. I appreciate every trafficker who faces the proper justice but I would not call an increase of 3 cases a major improvement and a major factor for an upgrade in tier ranking.   Another concerning aspect of Cuba’s upgrade, is that the information on Cuba’s efforts to combat trafficking came directly from the Cuban government, not from non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  Independent NGOs are unable to operate in Cuba and therefore it is impossible for the U.S. government to assess the situation on the ground beyond reports from the Cuban government.   As the Obama Administration encourages increased tourism to Cuba, it should be noted that child sex trafficking and child sex tourism continue to plague Cuba. According to the 2015 report, Cubans between the ages of 13 and 20 are the most vulnerable to human trafficking within Cuba. A major investigation in recent years by The Toronto Star, in conjunction with The Miami Herald, highlighted a report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which cited Cuba as the most popular destination in the Americas for child sex tourism — and the Americas’ most visited region for Canadians traveling abroad for sex with kids. The Administration’s unfounded elevation of Cuba on human trafficking sends a chilling message that the U.S., at least under this president, is more interested in headlines about its historic Cuba policy than it is in challenging the Castro regime to protect Cuba’s youth from human trafficking exploitation.   It is important that the TIP report remain a true reflection of the trafficking situation on the ground and that a country’s rating never be determined by political considerations but by the country’s true record on this issue. The decision to upgrade Cuba without substantial evidence of improvement is the worst form of politicization of an important anti-trafficking tool. Cuba is a human slave state.   In closing, I urge you to reconsider Cuba’s ranking. Also, I formally request all prior drafts of the Cuba portion of the 2015 TIP Report, the names of all State Department and White House officials who signed off on the Cuba section of the report, and a copy of the Cuban Government's national action plan to combat trafficking. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to continuing to work with you on this important issue.   Sincerely,   Marco Rubio http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=3a79227b-75ed-4d60-a5d2-aa2dc001a5d9
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Tobey's Opinion
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07/23/2015
Human trafficking is a serious crime closely related to slavery which violates the 13th amendment. The government must do what ever it takes to deter human trafficking
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Argument opposed

Fighting human trafficking is a worthy goal, but without a price tag for this new training program, how can taxpayers know their money is being spent wisely?

Seeya's Opinion
···
02/06/2016
Disband the DHS, all they're done is feel up on wives and little kids since 9/11.
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John's Opinion
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07/05/2015
We are 18 TRILLION in debt. We cannot afford new programs. We should be cutting programs. Stop spending!!! We should reduce taxes and reduce spending $2 for every tax dollar cut!
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Carol's Opinion
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12/08/2015
Why does congress have to tell them what to do, no wonder, nothing ever gets done.
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    Need to do what we can I know there is a lot more we can be doing.
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    Human trafficking is a serious crime closely related to slavery which violates the 13th amendment. The government must do what ever it takes to deter human trafficking
    Like (3)
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    I'm voting "YEA," but you need to take the TSA out of the equation. They are FAR TOO CORRUPT AND INEPT! As for the rest of DHS, I expect that they will do better under a Trump Administration. Jeh Johnson needs to go!! Obama has turned them into a weapon focused on his idea of who our enemies are, rather than on who they REALLY are! Rubio To Kerry On Politicized Human Trafficking Report: Show Me The Paper Trail AUG 13 2015 Washington, D.C. U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (R-FL), chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee’s Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights, and Global Women’s Issues, urged Secretary of State John Kerry to reconsider Cuba’s ranking in the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking in Persons (TIP) report, and demanded he turn over all prior drafts of the Cuba portion of the report, the names of all State Department and White House officials who signed off on the Cuba section, and a copy of the Cuban government’s national action plan to combat trafficking.   “The politically driven manipulation of the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report is an embarrassment for the Obama Administration that threatens to set back U.S. efforts against human trafficking around the world,” wrote Rubio. “For over 15 years, the report has helped encourage foreign governments to tackle human trafficking, if for no other reason than to avoid being named and shamed by the U.S. Now, according to whistleblowers within the State Department, the Administration has announced to the world that it will allow political considerations to trump real reform.   “It is important that the TIP report remain a true reflection of the trafficking situation on the ground and that a country’s rating never be determined by political considerations but by the country’s true record on this issue,” Rubio continued. “The decision to upgrade Cuba without substantial evidence of improvement is the worst form of politicization of an important anti-trafficking tool. Cuba is a human slave state.”   Rubio first said the TIP report needed to be based on reality not politics immediately after its release and again following reports that human trafficking experts were repeatedly overruled and pressured by senior State Department officials into inflating assessments of 14 strategically important countries in this year’s report.   A PDF of the letter is available here, and the text is below: http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?a=files.serve&File_id=7DA1B26F-2A6E-49EB-8083-08CFBF989289   August 13, 2015   The Honorable John Kerry Secretary of State U.S. Department of State 2201 C Street NW Washington, DC 20220   Dear Secretary Kerry,   The politically driven manipulation of the State Department’s 2015 Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Report is an embarrassment for the Obama Administration that threatens to set back U.S. efforts against human trafficking around the world. For over 15 years, the report has helped encourage foreign governments to tackle human trafficking, if for no other reason than to avoid being named and shamed by the U.S. Now, according to whistleblowers within the State Department, the Administration has announced to the world that it will allow political considerations to trump real reform. President Obama and his Administration have set a dangerous precedent with this trafficking report that could lead countries to believe they can negotiate their way out of having their human trafficking abuses highlighted. This is a great disservice to the millions of people who have been victimized or are vulnerable to human traffickers.   The most glaring example is the politically driven improvement of Cuba from the “Tier 3” category to the “Tier 2 Watch List”. Since the State Department began evaluating Cuba in 2003, it has been placed on Tier 3 every year. Over the past year, Cuba has done almost nothing to combat human trafficking. In fact, while the 2015 trafficking report claims there were improvements in certain areas, Cuba still has not even bothered to create a single law that identifies labor trafficking as a crime. Additionally, the progress which was identified in convicting sex trafficking cases was minimal, an improvement of 3 cases in 2013. I appreciate every trafficker who faces the proper justice but I would not call an increase of 3 cases a major improvement and a major factor for an upgrade in tier ranking.   Another concerning aspect of Cuba’s upgrade, is that the information on Cuba’s efforts to combat trafficking came directly from the Cuban government, not from non-governmental organizations (NGOs).  Independent NGOs are unable to operate in Cuba and therefore it is impossible for the U.S. government to assess the situation on the ground beyond reports from the Cuban government.   As the Obama Administration encourages increased tourism to Cuba, it should be noted that child sex trafficking and child sex tourism continue to plague Cuba. According to the 2015 report, Cubans between the ages of 13 and 20 are the most vulnerable to human trafficking within Cuba. A major investigation in recent years by The Toronto Star, in conjunction with The Miami Herald, highlighted a report by the Royal Canadian Mounted Police, which cited Cuba as the most popular destination in the Americas for child sex tourism — and the Americas’ most visited region for Canadians traveling abroad for sex with kids. The Administration’s unfounded elevation of Cuba on human trafficking sends a chilling message that the U.S., at least under this president, is more interested in headlines about its historic Cuba policy than it is in challenging the Castro regime to protect Cuba’s youth from human trafficking exploitation.   It is important that the TIP report remain a true reflection of the trafficking situation on the ground and that a country’s rating never be determined by political considerations but by the country’s true record on this issue. The decision to upgrade Cuba without substantial evidence of improvement is the worst form of politicization of an important anti-trafficking tool. Cuba is a human slave state.   In closing, I urge you to reconsider Cuba’s ranking. Also, I formally request all prior drafts of the Cuba portion of the 2015 TIP Report, the names of all State Department and White House officials who signed off on the Cuba section of the report, and a copy of the Cuban Government's national action plan to combat trafficking. Thank you for your consideration. I look forward to continuing to work with you on this important issue.   Sincerely,   Marco Rubio http://www.rubio.senate.gov/public/index.cfm/press-releases?ID=3a79227b-75ed-4d60-a5d2-aa2dc001a5d9
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    Action needs to be taken to recognize human trafficking and taking actions to stop it.
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    I agree this is worthwhile, though I question the usefulness of involving the TSA in it. The TSA has shown us that it can't even find bombs over 70% of the time. So far they have felt up grannies and disabled children. How do you expect them to find trafficked humans?
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    This is a very important issue. Sex trafficking is very prevalent in our society, more so than many of us realize. Serious action should be taken to fight these heinous crimes!
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    Need more information on funding and cost prior to any votes
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    Disband the DHS, all they're done is feel up on wives and little kids since 9/11.
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    But first teach them how to detect and disrupt illegal immigration.
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    The DHS budget is out of control.
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    Why does congress have to tell them what to do, no wonder, nothing ever gets done.
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    Absolutely agencies like the TSA and CBP are the first to run into these types of victims.
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    If I can't vote you in and out of office, you don't deserve my tax dollars.
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    I believe this is a necessary training for DHS personnel. I realize there is a cost, but there is always a cost for training. Just manage the budget to cover the priority programs
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    Abolish this alphabet agency
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    This needs to stop. Now.
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    They should already know the signs.
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    End the oppressive and corrupt DHS!
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    We are 18 TRILLION in debt. We cannot afford new programs. We should be cutting programs. Stop spending!!! We should reduce taxes and reduce spending $2 for every tax dollar cut!
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    Additional training to spot such abhorrent activity is mandatory
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