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Washington D.C. – House Majority Whip Kevin McCarthy released the following statement regarding the passage of anti-human trafficking legislation:

“Hidden beneath the surface of society, black market trafficking of human lives continues as a modern-day form of slavery. Human trafficking is a $32 billion a year industry where people are traded or exploited for sex or commercial gain. More than 17,000 people are estimated to be trafficked annually within U.S. borders alone.

“Today, House Republicans and Democrats joined together to overwhelmingly pass five important bills to combat trafficking both domestically and internationally by taking power away from human rights abusers, providing additional tools to law enforcement, and providing services and resources to help victims. These bipartisan bills will strengthen current laws against trafficking, move to curb trafficking in the foster care system, and stop the treatment of victims as criminals.

“I applaud Representatives Ted Poe, Erik Paulsen, Dave Reichert, Ann Wagner, and Chris Smith for their sponsorship of these key pieces of legislation to help some of the most vulnerable among us.”