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Public Statements

Violence Against Women Reauthorization Act of 2013

Floor Speech

By:
Date:
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. RUBIO. Mr. President, I wish to echo my support for this amendment which is, basically, the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Human trafficking is an issue which is shocking to people in its prevalence, both in our country and around the world. The idea of human slavery is something people think about as a historical issue, something that happened a long time ago. The fact is it is happening today all over the world, and it is happening in the United States. It is a tragic issue.

There is not just sex trafficking, which gets all the attention and, obviously, is something that is very bad, but there is also labor trafficking. There are people in this country who are brought here under false pretenses, and when they get here they don't get paid, they are mistreated, and on many occasions they are threatened that their family back home is going to be hurt if they go to the authorities.

We have had cases of this happening in Florida. We have seen horrible cases that have been documented in Florida. This is one of the issues I have become passionate about, and anyone could become passionate about, if ever a person meets any of these survivors, these young men and women who have survived some of the most brutal treatment one can imagine. So this is a great step forward in reauthorizing not just this bill but America's example to the world that we take this issue seriously.

I also think this is an issue of awareness. In the years to come, I hope we will continue to talk about this issue because there is still a lack of awareness in this country among many people about how serious this problem truly is. I am grateful we will, hopefully, be able to move forward, and I wish to thank the Senator from Vermont for offering this amendment.

Should I yield the floor?

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