President Donald J. Trump signed Congressman Chris Smith’s latest Anti-Human Trafficking bill, “the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Reauthorization Act of 2018,” this evening before his national address from the Oval Office.
Named for Frederick Douglas in honor of the 200th anniversary of the 19th century abolitionist/former slave, the act authorizes $430 million over four years for a comprehensive whole-of-government effort to fight sex and labor trafficking at home and abroad.
“My Frederick Douglass law authorizes over $430 million over 4 years to prevent human trafficking, protect victims, and beef up prosecution of those involved in this nefarious trade both at home and abroad,”Smith said.
The bill is Smith’s fifth comprehensive anti-human trafficking bill to become law and the third bill authored by Smith to be signed into law by President Trump in the last month.
“In the fight to end modern day slavery, my law honors the extraordinary legacy of one of the greatest Americans who ever lived,” Smith said of Frederick Douglass. “Born a slave in 1818, Douglas escaped slavery at the age of 20 and became a leader in the fight to abolish slavery and, later, to ending Jim Crow laws. A gifted orator, author, editor, statesman (and Republican), he died in 1895.”
Kenneth B. Morris, Jr., great-great-great grandson of Frederick Douglass and President of Frederick Douglass Family Initiatives, stated that “If my great ancestor were here today, I believe he would be driven to lead the struggle against contemporary forms of slavery. My family sends a special thanks to Representative Christopher Smith from New Jersey, the entire U.S. Congress and the President for permitting the Douglass legacy to do just that.”