March 28, 2012
Members of the Assembly Judiciary Committee
1020 N Street, Room 104
Sacramento, CA 95814
RE: AB 2212 (Block) - SUPPORT Dear Assembly Judiciary Committee:
On behalf of the Coalition to Abolish Slavery & Trafficking (CAST), I am writing in support of AB 2212 (Block). AB 2212 would enhance the ability of law enforcement in California to fight human trafficking by targeting those who allow human trafficking to take place in their residence or business.
AB 2212 amends California’s public nuisance law by designating buildings being used in human trafficking as public nuisances. This allows law enforcement to abate, enjoin and prevent human trafficking, through methods including eviction of tenants who allow human trafficking to take place on their property and the closure of businesses that participate in human trafficking. Defendants can also be fined as much as $25,000, half of which will go to fund human trafficking victim services and prevention programs.
As a direct service provider to survivors of human trafficking within the state of California, CAST witnesses the fact that modern day slavery is a crime that continues to exist and even thrive in our state because it remains hidden from public view. AB 2212 would give law enforcement recourse against those who see human trafficking taking place on their property or within their business but choose not to prevent it.
In past legislation to address the problem of human trafficking in California, state legislators have spearheaded efforts to better protect victims of slavery. Today, California is a recognized leader in this area throughout the United States. CAST applauds these efforts and urges you to pass AB 2212 and give law enforcement a valuable tool to stop human trafficking. If you have any further questions please contact: Stephanie Richard, Policy & Legal Services Director, CAST at 213-365-1906 x 115 or Stephanie@castla.org.