This month Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) and Sen. Paul Wellstone (D-Minn.) plan to introduce legislation in the Senate to tighten U.S. laws on sexual trafficking. Sen. Brownback says, "It would be very defeatist of us to say that this is a problem, and we are not ever going to deal adequately with it. I think raising the issue and raising the stature of it will have an impact." Already a bill is making its way through the House. Both measures aim to:
- tighten prosecution and sentencing guidelines for convicted traffickers in the United States and require convicted traffickers to provide full restitution to their victims
- prohibit known traffickers from entering the United States
- require the secretary of state to report annually to Congress on severe forms of trafficking
- withhold some forms of U.S. foreign assistance from countries that do not meet minimum standards to prohibit trafficking
- grant non-immigrant alien status to certain victims, alleviating the immediate threat of deportation
- eliminate jailing or fining of victims merely because they were trafficked.