Florida aims to combat human trafficking, protect victims

Gov. Ron DeSantis signs several bills aimed to combat human trafficking
Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis speaks at a news conference in Lighthouse Point on May 16, 2023.jpg
Posted at 11:11 AM, May 16, 2023
and last updated 2023-05-16 12:59:26-04

LIGHTHOUSE POINT, Fla. — Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis on Tuesday visited Broward County, where he signed several bills aimed at combating human trafficking in the state.

In reference to the bills, DeSantis said this will be a game changer for the people of Florida and public safety.

He also talked about the state setting the tone in terms of controlling the border and illegal immigration, saying a lot of human trafficking victims are also in the country illegally.

The new laws signed Tuesday are designed to give more power to human trafficking victims, even clearing the way for them to take legal action against the people or groups that trafficked them.

There will also be more educational programs for people at risk of being trafficked to steer them away from those environments.

Hotels, which state officials said are hubs for human trafficking, will also have more oversight. Hotels can now be fined if they don't follow new laws in terms of human trafficking prevention in hotel rooms.

"All in all, this is a very strong package of bills," DeSantis said Tuesday in Lighthouse Point. "I'm excited to be able to be here to sign these measures into law. There's a lot that went on over the last six months in terms of the legislative product that legislators were able to generate. I commend them for really doing great work, working very hard and making sure that what we set out to do, we're accomplishing and then some."

Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody echoed the governor's remarks.

"We are not only going to go after the traffickers in a more significant way, (but) we are going to strengthen how we protect our victims after they're rescued," Moody said.