June 21, 2012 (Sacramento)—On Wednesday, the Senate Public Safety Committee approved Assemblymember Marty Block’s (D-78th Assembly District) measure to allow law enforcement to prosecute human trafficking as a civil nuisance as well as a crime and direct recovered penalties to the victims of these crimes.
“Few crimes are more heinous than the enslavement of children and adults,” Block said. “Our law enforcement personnel need all the tools we can give them to battle these crimes and to assist victims.”
Block said the CIA estimates that approximately 15,000 to 17,500 men, women and children are brought into the U.S. every year. The problem is particularly acute in major port cities such as Los Angeles and San Diego.
“My bill, AB 2212, would add human trafficking both domestic and international to the list of per se nuisances such gambling, lewdness and prostitution to evict tenants and penalize property owners who knowingly allow these activities on their grounds,” Block stated. A per se nuisance is an activity or an act for which an injury to the public is presumed.
AB 2212 would also use penalties recovered from prosecution to help fund victim services which are currently inadequately supported according to the California Alliance to Combat Trafficking and Slavery Task Force.
Block’s measure is sponsored by the San Diego and Los Angeles City Attorneys and supported by the Coalition to Abolish Slavery and Trafficking, The California Partnership to End Domestic Violence, the Peace Officers Research Association of California, the American Federation of State, County, and Municipal Employees and the Junior Leagues of California.
Assemblymember Marty Block represents the cities and communities of Bonita, Chula Vista, Lemon Grove, San Diego and Spring Valley.
Web site: www.asmdc.org/block