Spanberger Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Address Humanitarian Situation in Central America, Understand Impacts of Trafficking & Smuggling Networks on Migration to U.S. Southern Border
Congresswoman: “To Keep Americans Safe and Secure, We Must Understand and Address the Root Causes of Violence, Instability, and Migration”
Washington, July 16, 2019
WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger helped lead the introduction of a bipartisan bill to understand and combat ongoing trafficking and smuggling activities throughout Central America.
The bipartisan Trafficking and Smuggling Intelligence Act would direct the U.S. intelligence community to prioritize its efforts to combat drug trafficking, human trafficking, and human smuggling in the Northern Triangle countries—Honduras, Guatemala, and El Salvador—and Mexico. Additionally, it would review how nefarious operations in these countries contribute to ongoing migration to the U.S.-Mexico border.
Spanberger introduced this legislation alongside U.S. Representative Will Hurd (R-TX-23). Spanberger and Hurd are both former Central Intelligence Agency case officers.
“As a former intelligence officer, I worked drug trafficking organizations (DTOs) in Central America. And as a former federal law enforcement agent, I worked on-the-ground drug cases and have seen the real impact of the drug trade on our local communities. The destabilizing impact of DTOs and human trafficking networks begins long before drugs or displaced people reach our country as they wreak havoc across Central American countries. This havoc has a dangerous ripple effect on U.S. national security and exacerbates the humanitarian situation at our southern border,” said Spanberger. “This bipartisan bill would use the expertise of our intelligence community to help us better understand how to combat drug trafficking, human smuggling, and organized crime in the Northern Triangle and make sure our intelligence agencies are focused on this instability in our backyard. To protect vulnerable populations in Central America and to keep Americans safe and secure, we must understand and address the root causes of violence, instability, and illegal migration—and I’m proud to stand alongside Congressman Hurd as we introduce this important legislation.”
“Human traffickers and smugglers are exacerbating the crisis at our southern border and putting innocent lives at risk,” said Hurd. “Understanding and disabling these smuggling and trafficking networks should be a national intelligence priority, which is why I am proud to introduce this important legislation to help dismantle these networks and work to address the crisis at our southern border.”
The Spanberger-Hurd bill would help build a long-term solution to the challenges posed by migration trends from Central America to the United States. Specifically, the Trafficking and Smuggling Intelligence Act would:
Click here to read the full bill text.
Spanberger has continued to advocate for smart, effective reforms to U.S. border security and immigration policies—and she has stressed the importance of addressing the root causes of increased migration. Last month, she joined a majority of the U.S. House of Representatives in passing a bipartisan emergency supplemental funding package to help mitigate the effects of the humanitarian crisis at the southern border.