California Democrats Oppose Increasing Penalties For Human Trafficking

Considering the concerted leftist backlash against the film “Sound of Freedom,” some people have concluded that opposition to human trafficking has now become a partisan issue.

Democratic California lawmakers furthered this perception with their decision to derail a proposal that would have increased the penalties for and seriousness of child sex trafficking. The bill sought to increase the severity of such crimes to be on par with felonies like rape and murder.

Experts have advised that human trafficking has been on the rise in recent months, particularly since the state decriminalized the act of loitering among prostitutes earlier this year.

Civil rights leader Shane Harris pleaded with Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom to address the public safety issue, insisting that failure to address the scourge of human trafficking is putting “children’s lives at stake.”

When the proposal was presented to the California Assembly Committee on Public Safety, however, the Democratic majority ensured its defeat as all Republicans on the panel voted in favor of it.

To his credit, Newsom responded to the development by asserting that he would be looking into steps he could take to revive the bill.

The Democratic opposition came even after survivors shared their own harrowing experiences and personally urged state lawmakers to take action.

“I’m here to say that I was molested and raped repeatedly by Black and White men and even some women,” said one human trafficking survivor. “So it does not matter the race. What matters is saving our children. Traffickers are getting out of jail, parole, and reoffending, continuing the horrific cycle of abuse and depravity.”

Former Alameda County prosecutor Sharmin Bock offered her unique perspective in calling for harsher penalties for individuals convicted of human trafficking. She asserted that the punishment rarely includes more than a few years behind bars and has resulted in traffickers “getting so brazen because the law has no teeth.”

As Democrats defeated the bill, outcries of opposition could be heard across the chamber, with some witnesses shouting: “Horrible!”

Republican officials in the state issued statements following the vote that expressed their dismay with the result. State GOP chair Jessica Millan Patterson described the Democratic opposition as “disgusting” and heartless” while the assembly’s top Republican James Gallagher insisted that the Democratic Party in his state is “looking out for the most vicious criminals at the expense of victims.”