Connecticut Representatives Rosa DeLauro and John Larson released the following statement today applauding the creation of the justice AmeriCorps program. The program will provide cost effective legal representation to unaccompanied minors who come to America alone after being victims of abuse and/or human trafficking.
"I applaud the Corporation for National and Community Service and the Department of Justice on establishing justice AmeriCorps," said DeLauro. "Human trafficking is modern day slavery, pure and simple. We must work to provide victims of both trafficking and other forms of abuse with the resources and support they need in order to get the justice they deserve. I look forward to seeing the results of justice AmeriCorps, and the difference it makes in the lives of children."
"The Corporation for National and Community Service and the Department of Justice have done the right thing in creating a path for victims of abuse and human trafficking to obtain legal representation, especially for children," said Larson. "Public service is an important part of our democratic and legal system, and I commend AmeriCorps for working on behalf of our world's most vulnerable citizens. This program is a step forward in efforts to help those who've had these heinous crimes committed against them."
Justice AmeriCorps is a joint venture of the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), and the Department of Justice. The program aims to have paralegals and lawyers represent minors so they do not have to attend immigration hearings alone and without representation. Hartford is one of the first 29 cities where justice AmeriCorps will launch, with approximately 100 lawyers and paralegals taking part nationwide.
DeLauro is the senior Democrat on the Appropriations Subcommittee for Labor, Health and Human Services, and Education, which funds CNCS. She recently led a bipartisan letter calling on Attorney General Holder to address the demand side of sex trafficking, which Larson also signed. Last October, DeLauro introduced a resolution committing Members of Congress in the fight against domestic trafficking. Larson is a cosponsor of that resolution, which declares "Our Daughters Are Not For Sale," and currently has over 80 cosponsors, from both sides of the aisle. It condemns child trafficking and sexual exploitation, and encourages law enforcement to help victims and end these practices for good.