WASHINGTON— Congressmen Michael T. McCaul (R-TX) and Henry Cuellar (D-TX) introduced H.R. 836 – the Interdiction for the Protection of Child Victims of Exploitation and Human Trafficking Act. A companion bill was introduced in the Senate by Senators Cornyn (R-TX) and Cortez Masto (D-NV). Governor Greg Abbott of Texas extended his support for this legislation.
H.R. 836 would increase the availability of Interdiction for Protection of Children (IPC) training that was pioneered by the Texas Department of Public Safety. It requires the Attorney General to establish a pilot program to provide training to federal, state, and local law enforcement officers and other relevant professionals on identifying exploited children, child victims of trafficking, and missing children.
Governor Abbott: “I applaud Senator Cornyn, Congressman McCaul and Congressman Cuellar for taking action to combat human trafficking and child exploitation here in Texas and across America. The IPC program is a proven tool that is helping Texas law enforcement officers identify and arrest human traffickers and protect victims of this heinous crime. Passing legislation to expand this model across the country is a vital step toward eliminating trafficking and ensuring a safer future for our nation.”
Congressman McCaul: “Human trafficking enslaves an estimated 25 million people worldwide, including more than 300,000 people in my home state of Texas. I commend the Texas Department of Public Safety for developing the Interdiction for Protection of Children training program to educate patrol officers and child service professionals across the country. With few resources and little money, Texas has led the nation in the battle to end trafficking and safeguard our children.
“This legislation establishes a pilot program for federal, state, and local law enforcement to provide this essential training. I want to thank Senators Cornyn and Cortez Masto, along with Congressman Cuellar, for their commitment and dedication to eradicating this horrific practice.”
Congressman Cuellar: “It is essential that we do everything in our power as lawmakers to prevent child trafficking by providing our law enforcement officers with all the resources they need to bring at-risk children to safety. This legislation will provide the means to equip our law enforcement agents through the Interdiction for Protection of Children (IPC) Program to identify trafficking and exploitation cases. It will also make the IPC training, proven successful as a standard for the Texas Highway Patrol Troopers, available to local organizations and members of the community through a grant program for partner agencies. I thank Senators Cortez Masto and Cornyn, as well as Congressman McCaul for their leadership and commitment to this issue.”
Senator Cornyn: “Everyone recognizes that the exploitation and trafficking of children is a heinous crime, but spotting it in our own neighborhoods requires special training. Educating law enforcement officers to know the signs of a child in distress is crucial to rescuing them from the hands of these criminals.”
Senator Cortez Masto: “Patrol officers are regularly trained to know the signs of drunk driving and drug trafficking at traffic stops, but we need the same focus on identifying child trafficking victims,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “This legislation will provide that much-needed training to law enforcement officers across the country, helping them recognize and rescue victims who may be hiding in plain sight. I’m proud to be fighting in the Senate to give police officers in Nevada, and across the country, the knowledge they need to help protect innocent kids.”