California consistently ranks number one among the states for the number of human trafficking cases reported each year, but the Golden State doesn’t consider human trafficking a “violent” or even a “serious” felony. Two state senators, one a Republican, the other a Democrat have introduced a bipartisan bill to change all that. Senators Shannon Grove (R-Bakersfield) and Senator Anna Caballero (D-Merced) are jointly authoring SB 1042 to list human trafficking in the lists of crimes defined as serious and violent under California law, making the crime a strike under the Three Strikes law.
“Human trafficking is a horrendous crime that has run rampant in our state,” said Senator Grove. “California has been the epicenter of the human trafficking problem for far too long. We must take action immediately to stop this modern-day slave trade and protect the most vulnerable people in our communities.”
According to the National Human Trafficking Hotline (NHTH), human trafficking is defined in U.S. Law as “a crime that involves exploiting a person for labor, services, or commercial sex. …In some cases [of human trafficking], traffickers trick, defraud or physically force victims into providing commercial sex. In others, victims are lied to, assaulted, threatened or manipulated into working under inhumane, illegal or otherwise unacceptable conditions.”
SB 1042 will give a voice to the victims that have suffered, strengthen the prevention of human trafficking, and increase the prosecution of those who buy and sell human beings for sex and labor. California needs to recognize and prosecute the detestable act of human trafficking as a serious and violent crime.
This bipartisan bill is also co-sponsored by Democrat Senators Steven Glazer, Melissa Hurtado, Josh Newman, and Susan Rubio, along with Republican Senators, Brian Jones, Melissa Melendez, Jim Nielsen, and Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh.
SB 1042, is scheduled for a hearing in the Senate Public Safety Committee this Tuesday, April 5, at 9 AM, room 2200.
Call into the hearing or show up in person and make your voice heard. (Find details here) We must support SB 1042 in making human trafficking a violent and serious felony.
Here is the list of senators on the Senate Public Safety Committee who will vote on the bill on April 5. Call their office to express your support for the bill.
- Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (R-Yucaipa/San Bernardino) – 916-651-4023
- Senator Steven Bradford (chair of the committee – D-LA/Long Beach) – 916-651-4035
- Senator Sydney Kamlager (D-LA) – 916-651-4030
- Senator Nancy Skinner (D-Berkeley) – 916-651-4009
- Senator Scott Wiener (D-San Francisco) – 916-651-4011