Human trafficking is a serious problem, and it affects every county in Tennessee. According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigations, human trafficking is the “fastest growing criminal industry behind drugs.” Since 2007, in Tennessee, there have been 823 human trafficking cases reported, with 93 cases reported in 2019 alone. Chattanooga is more susceptible to this epidemic because of the many roadways, including I-75 and I-24, and its proximity to Atlanta - a major hub in human trafficking. Human trafficking isn’t just happening in other countries or other states; it’s happening right here at home.
Tennessee is blessed with community leaders and law enforcement officers who are deeply committed to putting an end to human trafficking and we are united in the fight against this modern day slavery, but there is much more to be done to stop this growing epidemic.
As a Christian, as a parent, and as an American, I am deeply troubled by this horrific crime, and I will stop at nothing to end human trafficking once and for all. To that end, we must continue to crack down on websites and social media accounts that promote human trafficking. The internet is one of the most significant recruiting tools for human traffickers, and we must take action against websites that facilitate human trafficking. As your Senator, I will always support initiatives that limit recruiting tools for human traffickers and make the internet a safer place for our children.
Additionally, we must also ensure our local religious and charity organizations, our local governments, and our local law enforcement officers have the resources they need to educate our community on how to spot human trafficking and report it to law enforcement. The whole community must be involved so that we can identify human trafficking, apprehend these heinous criminals, and save the victims. Remember, TBI’s human trafficking hotline is 1-855-55-86484 or text “BE FREE” to 233733. We must all be vigilant and help our neighbors in order to prevent and put an end to this horrific crime.
Above all, we must provide support for the survivors of human trafficking. These victims have endured unthinkable hell, and together, as a community, we must embrace them and provide them with the care and the resources they need to rebuild their lives.
Providing support for victims includes ensuring they have access to justice. Human traffickers - those who exploit others and force them into modern day slavery - should be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law -- and that includes the death penalty. Human trafficking is one of the most atrocious crimes, and the death penalty should absolutely be considered for these criminals.
Tennessee has been a leader in curbing human trafficking, but we must remain committed to ending this growing epidemic. As your Senator, I will continue to support efforts to combat human trafficking and work with Senator Marsha Blackburn and President Trump to ensure our local communities and government have the resources they need to put an end to this nightmare once and for all.
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You have my vote, and I don't care what letter is in front of your name. Put these animals to sleep and rid them from our society.
Proud father of two.