California Doesn’t Want To Make Child Trafficking A Felony

Child trafficking paints a grim, dark, and alarming picture. Any random person you asked on the street would likely say the idea of human trafficking is disturbing and appalling. Many would agree that anyone participating in it should face severe consequences.

Unfortunately, California is just as out-of-touch as it seems. The Golden State’s mostly Democratic legislature doesn’t seem to be too concerned about the issue of child trafficking. They don’t want to pass a seemingly-obvious law that would make it a felony.

In July, Democrats in the Assembly’s Public Safety committee voted it down. Afterward, Gov. Gavin Newsom brought the spotlight back onto the issue, probably because he is now trying to run for president. Legislators had to reconsider and pass it out of committee.

The bill, Senator Shannon Grove’s AB 14, was moved into the Assembly Appropriations Committee’s “suspense file.” Being moved into the suspense file means the committee chair will hold it while considerations are made based on the cost of the bill.

When it comes to the safety and well-being of American children, you’d think it’d be a top priority. Grove released a statement that highlighted the importance of the bill. Perhaps the most impactful words from her statement are, “There is no price tag that can be placed on a victim of human trafficking, especially a child.”

Another line in her statement read, “It should be prevented and stopped at any cost.” California is also one of the top states experiencing human trafficking in the U.S. So why is it so difficult for these people to make deplorable crime a felony?

The bill passed the state Senate without even one “no” vote earlier this year, but it was shut down abruptly when all six Democrats on the Assembly Public Safety Committee didn’t feel like supporting it. That being said, it’s pretty clear to see where everyone’s priorities are.

AB 14 would add the trafficking of a minor to the state’s “Three Strikes Law.” This law provides more severe penalties for serious repeat offenders. Individuals convicted on a third strike could automatically face 25 years to life in prison.

Sources say that between 15,000-50,000 women and children are forced into human trafficking every single year. The number varies because knowing how many people have been forced into this heinous and sickening trade is difficult. Children account for 27% of victims worldwide.

Sticking something as serious as child trafficking into the suspense file doesn’t bode well. Exploiting children and ripping away their innocence would make any average person nauseous and disgusted. The move makes these radicals look like they want to protect their precious funds over American youth.