SAVE Girls Act Represents Another Facet in Effort to Address Border Crisis Ramifications

WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Cindy Hyde-Smith (R-Miss.) will join U.S. Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) and Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.) in introducing bipartisan legislation to provide states, local governments, and nonprofit groups resources to help end the trafficking of young women and girls.

The Stopping the Abuse, Victimization, and Exploitation of Girls (“SAVE Girls”) Act (S.1200) would authorize $50 million in additional funding for a grant program to prevent the trafficking of young women and girls, including, but not limited to, vulnerable children who have been smuggled across our border.

“Sadly, cartels and coyotes have turned human trafficking into a multi-billion-dollar industry, and we know it is mainly women and girls who are paying the price,” said Hyde-Smith, who serves on the Senate Homeland Security Appropriations Subcommittee.  “The SAVE Girls Act would help ensure there are more resources available to combat this humanitarian crisis and provide support to surviving victims.”

“Human trafficking is one of the fastest growing criminal industries, and more than 90 percent of female trafficking victims are trafficked for sexual exploitation,” said Blackburn.  “We cannot continue to allow criminal cartels to flourish while they rape, trade, and exploit women and girls.  I thank my colleagues for joining this bipartisan solution to help stop the trafficking industry in its tracks and protect victims.”

“We must do all we can to prevent human smuggling and trafficking across both our country’s borders,” Klobuchar said.  “This bipartisan legislation will help to ensure states, local governments, and nonprofits have needed resources to combat these crimes and support those who have already been victimized.”

The SAVE Girls Act would:

  • Permit the Attorney General and the Secretary of Health and Human Services (HHS), in consultation with the Secretary of State, to award grants to states, localities, and nongovernment organizations committed to preventing and stopping the smuggling and trafficking of young women and girls.  
  • Specify the primary focus of this grant program is to prevent the smuggling of young women and girls across the border, as well as to prevent survivors from becoming or remaining victims of trafficking.
  • Provide additional resources to combat the humanitarian crisis plaguing girls across the United States without disrupting the statutory structure of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

The SAVE Girls Act, as well as the Stop Taxpayer Funding of Traffickers Act, were featured recently in an NBC News report with Hyde-Smith, Blackburn, and U.S. Senator Katie Britt (R-Ala.).

The State Department estimates that between 14,500 and 17,500 individuals are trafficked into the United States annually, with this trafficking disproportionately affecting girls and women.  Additionally, nearly one in four victims of human trafficking in the United States is a child, and females are consistently the primary targets of trafficking.