H.R. 460, Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015

H.R. 460

Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015

Committee
Judiciary

Date
January 27, 2015 (114th Congress, 1st Session)

Staff Contact
Communications

Floor Situation

On Tuesday, January 27, 2015, the House will consider H.R. 460, the Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2015, under a suspension of the rules.  H.R. 460 was introduced on January 21, 2015 by Rep. Mark Walker (R-NC) and referred to the House Committees on Homeland Security and Judiciary.

Bill Summary

H.R 460 is substantively identical to H.R. 5116, the Human Trafficking Detection Act of 2014, which passed on July 23, 2014 by voice vote.[1]

H.R. 460 requires that the Secretary of Homeland Security (“Secretary”), within 180 days of the bill’s enactment, implement a human trafficking awareness program to train and periodically retrain relevant DHS personnel.  The training must be given to personnel within TSA, U.S. Customs and Border Protection, and other DHS personnel deemed necessary.  The training may be conducted in-person or virtually, and must include: 1) methods for identifying suspected victims and perpetrators of trafficking; 2) methods to approach suspected victims; 3) training that is specific to the personnel’s location or environment; 4) other information deemed appropriate by the Secretary; and 5) a post-training evaluation of personnel receiving the training.  H.R. 460 requires the Secretary to annually reassess the training program to ensure that it is consistent with current techniques, patterns, and trends associated with human trafficking.

H.R. 460 requires the Secretary to certify to Congress, within one year of the bill’s enactment, that all relevant personnel have received training.  Within the same timeframe, the Secretary must also submit a report to Congress on 1) the overall effectiveness of the training program; 2) the number of cases reported by DHS personnel in which human trafficking was suspected; and 3) the number of cases that were confirmed to be trafficking.

H.R. 460 authorizes the Secretary to provide training curricula to any state, local, or tribal government or private organization seeking to establish a human trafficking awareness training program.

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[1] Congressional Record – July 23, 2014, at H6730.

Background

As many as an estimated 17,500 individuals are trafficked into the U.S. each year.[2]  Both U.S. citizens and noncitizens are victims, and trafficking occurs in every state in the country.[3]  “Domestic human trafficking occurs primarily for labor and most commonly in domestic servitude, agriculture, manufacturing, janitorial services, hotel services, construction, health and elder care, hair and nail salons, and strip club dancing.  However, more investigations and prosecutions have taken place for sex trafficking offenses than for labor trafficking offenses.”[4]

“[DHS] is responsible for investigating human trafficking, arresting traffickers and protecting victims. [DHS] initiates hundreds of investigations and makes numerous arrests every year, using a victim-centered approach.  DHS also processes immigration relief [to foreign-born victims of human trafficking].”[5]  As DHS plays a significant role in combating trafficking in persons, it is critical that relevant DHS personnel receive relevant training.

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[2] Alison Siskin & Liana Rosen, Trafficking in Persons: U.S. Policy and Issues for Congress, Congressional Research Service (May 1, 2014) at 16.
[3] Id. at 14-15.
[4] Id. at 15.
[5] U.S. Department of Homeland Security, Human Trafficking.

Cost

A formal CBO cost estimate is not available at this time.  However, an informal CBO estimate found that this legislation would not affect direct spending or revenues.

Additional Information

For questions or further information contact the GOP Conference at 5-5107.