CA Legislature Rejects Child Trafficking Felony Bill

In the world of criminal offenses, there is little room for debate about the depravity of child trafficking. One might naturally assume that any individual caught engaging in such a reprehensible act would naturally face significant consequences.

It stands to reason that this crime should automatically be classified as a felony, immune to the “strike” provisions under states’ three-strikes laws. Yet, the reality in California, famously known as the Golden State, rejects the idea.

The state’s predominantly Democrat-led legislature appears hesitant to enact what might be considered a straightforward law that designates child trafficking as a felony. This confusing situation becomes clearer when we look at recent events in Sacramento.

Initially, Democratic members within the Assembly’s Public Safety committee voted down the proposed legislation back in July. However, in response to public outcry and pressure from Gov. Gavin Newsom (R-CA), legislators reevaluated the matter and eventually endorsed it for committee consideration.

This apparent renewal of common sense proved to be little more than a fleeting moment. The bill in question, Sen. Shannon Grove’s (R-CA) bill AB 14, was subsequently transferred to the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s “suspense file.”

Sen. Grove sheds light on the intricate procedure: bills that hold fiscal implications exceeding $150,000 are retained by the committee chair within the Appropriations Committee. The chair evaluates whether the bills should proceed based on detailed cost considerations. In an emotionally charged statement, Grove underscores the profound significance of the bill:

“As the cost of incarcerating traffickers is evaluated, I urge the Appropriations Committee to duly recognize the indispensable services integral to rehabilitating victims and survivors of this abhorrent crime… The repugnant act of subjecting a child to exploitation merits proactive and resolute intervention at any cost.”

Grove further touched on California’s unfortunate status as a known hub for child trafficking within the United States. “The time has come to shield our children from predators who loiter online and elsewhere, preying upon the most defenseless members of our communities,” Grove asserted.

She then recalled an operation in Kern County, where law enforcement apprehended 22 perpetrators during a single operation. Surprisingly, even in the ever-changing political landscape of California, people are still aware of the seriousness of these crimes.

It’s incredibly puzzling that there’s so much debate surrounding an issue that’s clearly and so obviously wrong. There is no reason in this world that justifies the horrors of child trafficking, and anyone obstructing such legislation is clearly a part of the problem. Right now, the bill is stuck in a “suspense file,” which makes this already terrible situation even worse.