Congressman Pete Olson

Representing the 22nd District of Texas

OLSON BRINGS COMMUNITY TOGETHER TO END HUMAN TRAFFICKING

October 20, 2014
Press Release

Sugar Land, Texas – Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) recently hosted a human trafficking roundtable at the South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce to increase awareness and identify needs in our community to protect our children from falling victim to this growing problem. Roundtable participants were from federal, state and local law enforcement and humanitarian organizations closely involved in ending human trafficking.

"Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and South East Texas is no exception," Rep. Pete Olson said. "Just seventeen miles from here, the Justice Department says the I-10 corridor is 'the most intense trafficking jurisdiction in America.' Texans are proud to be #1 in nearly anything except being #1 in US cities for human trafficking. Every child deserves a safe upbringing, not one stolen by sexual predators for profit. This roundtable provided critical resources to protect our children and help our communities fight a global issue"

"As Co-Chair of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking, I have been working with my colleagues around Texas to increase the public's awareness of this issue, said Senator Joan Huffman."As a state, we must identify how we can better protect victims and strengthen the laws used to prosecute the perpetrators. This roundtable is but one of the many positive steps towards ending human trafficking in Texas, and I thank Congressman Olson for his leadership in Washington on this issue."

"We need to start treating these children like the victims that they are rather than criminals," Judge Jo Ann Delgado said. "Ending human trafficking must be a group effort. Community awareness and involvement is the key. This roundtable allowed me to share my legal prospective on the issue and hear from legislators, law enforcement officers and interest groups who are all committed to ending human trafficking."

“Homeland Security Investigations, Houston, welcomes and is encouraged by Congressman Olson’s leadership and motivation in addressing the topic of Human Trafficking in a manner that will significantly increase awareness in the community and assist in preventing young people from becoming victims of this hideous crime," said Homeland Security Investigations Agent Armando Astorga.

Dr. Robert Sanborn, Children At Risk said, "Human trafficking is a scourge that thrives in the darkness. Strong laws in Austin and Washington are vital, but we all have a role to play in stopping this crime. If we stop turning a blind eye to individuals and businesses that fuel the supply and demand of this illicit economy; if we recognize the red flags that are often right under our noses; if we speak up for the voiceless among us; then together, we can shine a light on this crime and end the cycle of exploitation in our communities."

Participants in the roundtable included: Dr. Diana Quintana, Deputy Director of Health Services; Ryan Kindell, Department of Public Safety; Carlos J. Barron, Federal Bureau of Investigations; Armando Astorga, Jr., Homeland Security; Judge Jo Ann Delgado, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2; Dr. Robert Sanborn, Children At Risk; Senator Joan Huffman, Texas Senate - District 17; Kerri Taylor, Unbound.

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly
202-225-5951

Sugar Land, Texas – Rep. Pete Olson (TX-22) recently hosted a human trafficking roundtable at the South Belt-Ellington Chamber of Commerce to increase awareness and identify needs in our community to protect our children from falling victim to this growing problem. Roundtable participants were from federal, state and local law enforcement and humanitarian organizations closely involved in ending human trafficking.

"Human trafficking is the fastest growing criminal industry in the world and South East Texas is no exception," Rep. Pete Olson said. "Just seventeen miles from here, the Justice Department says the I-10 corridor is 'the most intense trafficking jurisdiction in America.' Texans are proud to be #1 in nearly anything except being #1 in US cities for human trafficking. Every child deserves a safe upbringing, not one stolen by sexual predators for profit. This roundtable provided critical resources to protect our children and help our communities fight a global issue"

"As Co-Chair of the Joint Interim Committee to Study Human Trafficking, I have been working with my colleagues around Texas to increase the public's awareness of this issue, said Senator Joan Huffman."As a state, we must identify how we can better protect victims and strengthen the laws used to prosecute the perpetrators. This roundtable is but one of the many positive steps towards ending human trafficking in Texas, and I thank Congressman Olson for his leadership in Washington on this issue."

"We need to start treating these children like the victims that they are rather than criminals," Judge Jo Ann Delgado said. "Ending human trafficking must be a group effort. Community awareness and involvement is the key. This roundtable allowed me to share my legal prospective on the issue and hear from legislators, law enforcement officers and interest groups who are all committed to ending human trafficking."

“Homeland Security Investigations, Houston, welcomes and is encouraged by Congressman Olson’s leadership and motivation in addressing the topic of Human Trafficking in a manner that will significantly increase awareness in the community and assist in preventing young people from becoming victims of this hideous crime," said Homeland Security Investigations Agent Armando Astorga.

Dr. Robert Sanborn, Children At Risk said, "Human trafficking is a scourge that thrives in the darkness. Strong laws in Austin and Washington are vital, but we all have a role to play in stopping this crime. If we stop turning a blind eye to individuals and businesses that fuel the supply and demand of this illicit economy; if we recognize the red flags that are often right under our noses; if we speak up for the voiceless among us; then together, we can shine a light on this crime and end the cycle of exploitation in our communities."

Participants in the roundtable included: Dr. Diana Quintana, Deputy Director of Health Services; Ryan Kindell, Department of Public Safety; Carlos J. Barron, Federal Bureau of Investigations; Armando Astorga, Jr., Homeland Security; Judge Jo Ann Delgado, Justice of the Peace, Precinct 2; Dr. Robert Sanborn, Children At Risk; Senator Joan Huffman, Texas Senate - District 17; Kerri Taylor, Unbound.

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Media Contact: Melissa Kelly
202-225-5951