Washington, D.C. – Today, Congresswoman Elise Stefanik (R-NY-21) issued the following statement after President Trump signed the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act into law – a major reform to our nation’s trafficking laws. Congresswoman Stefanik cosponsored this bipartisan legislation to combat the pervasive issue of online sex trafficking, and take action against websites that allow their platforms to be abused by traffickers.

“The heinous crime of human trafficking is far too prevalent and we must continue to aggressively combat this epidemic,” said Congresswoman Stefanik. “Sex trafficking claims innocent people far closer to home than we even realize, with New York ranking as the 4th worst state for human trafficking. This legislation is a critical step in combating this urgent human rights crisis, sending a strong message of zero tolerance to those who provide a safe-haven for human traffickers online.

“I applaud President Trump for signing this bipartisan legislation into law, and I’m grateful to my House and Senate colleagues on both sides of the aisle for recognizing this tragedy and taking action to bring perpetrators to justice. I will continue working to ensure that victims of human trafficking have the recovery resources they need and the legal recourse they deserve.”

H.R. 1865 – the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act, provides new tools to law enforcement to prosecute criminal actor websites. Specifically, the bill creates a maximum of 10-year imprisonment for the use or intent to use an interstate facility to promote or facilitate prostitution. Additionally, the legislation creates a new recovery mechanism to be utilized by trafficking victims for seeking damages from their traffickers. To read more about this legislation, click here.