U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio is pushing for a tough anti-sex trafficking law, but it’s partly being held up due to concerns about abetting illegal immigration.
“Oftentimes, the victims are people who are brought here illegally or are here and their visa expired,” Rubio said. “And they’re terrified about cooperating with prosecutors against their pimps or the organized crime syndicate because they believe they’re going to be deported.”
So, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act would give victims temporary residency status to help catch the bad guys, the Republican lawmaker said.
But that could be a pathway to a perverse type of amnesty. And that’s a problem in a nation where Congress has been unable to comprehensively address illegal immigration — a central issue in the Republican race for president where the word “amnesty” is a slur.
“It’s been a factor. Some people have talked about it. The concern is not the victims,” Rubio said. “The concern is that someone would exploit this and use it as a loophole to somehow game the system. You’re always concerned about somebody gaming the system. This is a law that’s designed to help victims of trafficking and exploitation.”