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Reeves signs Mississippi legislation to punish human traffickers

A new law on the books in Mississippi prevents anyone convicted of a human trafficking crime from ever driving commercially again, Gov. Tate Reeves said.

The governor signed House Bill 971 on Monday. The bill bans any person from operating a commercial vehicle if that person has been convicted of crimes falling within the Mississippi Human Trafficking Act. The bill also embraces any federal felony involving sex trafficking.

Reeves said in a Facebook post announcing the signing, “Human trafficking is a vile and cruel crime that has destroyed the lives of too many.

“Mississippi’s supply chains have no room for those who perpetuate this evil and these individuals deserve to be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law. I was proud to sign House Bill 971, expanding the punishment for human traffickers by banning them from driving commercial motor vehicles.”

Human trafficking, according to the release, is “a tragic crime of abuse” that takes advantage of “the most vulnerable members of society.”

Human traffickers, over the course of the COVID-19 pandemic, used social media to “target potential victims” and increased their attacks, according to the release.

The U.S. Department of Justice reports that between 2011 and 2019 there was an increase of 79% for defendants facing human trafficking charges in U.S. district courts. Convictions rose by 80% during that time period, according to the release.

“This legislation offers another deterrent to fight against human traffickers and punish those who commit this horrendous act,” Reeve said.

This article was originally posted on Reeves signs Mississippi legislation to punish human traffickers

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