Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Rio Hondo College Newspaper

El Paisano

Make it hard out there for a pimp

With Election 2012 in less than one month away, it’s important that voters be properly informed and aware of what the ballot will be looking like. One of the propositions at hand is Proposition 35 relating to human trafficking. Under federal law, the Federal Trafficking Victims Protection Act defines two types of human trafficking: sex trafficking, where a person is forced into prostitution, and labor trafficking, where an immigrant is forced to work for free by threatening of deportation.

The proposed measure makes several changes to state law. For instance, there will be an expanded definition of human trafficking provided that duplicating or selling obscene materials; the law will state that this can be considered a form of human trafficking without direct contact with the minor.

More severe criminal penalties are also being changed. Under state law, the measure increases labor trafficking prison sentences from 5 years to a maximum of 12 years, sex trafficking of adults from 5 years to 20 years, and sex trafficking for minors a life sentence.

More proposed changes are programs for human trafficking victims, increased and special training for the CHP officers, expanded requirements for sex offender registration, and sharing the fine costs amongst the law enforcement and the victims of human trafficking. With the word jumble ballots, it is easy to get confused and believe in everything that you hear.

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Both types of human trafficking is bad, it is like a form of slavery, and increased regulations and jail sentencing sounds great, but with overcrowding of jails, does it really seem like a good idea to almost quadruple jail sentencing? Another questionable decision would be to increase law enforcement training -even though the officers are very well trained to handle human trafficking situations- it would be wasting time and state resources. The measure requires that 70 percent of the funds collected from the fines be given towards the victims and the other 30 percent towards law enforcement officers.

With the economy in the tight situation that it’s in, it is truly hard to believe that they will keep their promise and give 70 percent of 1.5 million dollars in fines to the victims.

Another thing, what prostitute is going to be able and willing to pay a 1.5 million dollar fine? It is impractical.

As for court proceedings, the measure prohibits the use of evidence that a person was involved in prostitution crime if it was a result of them being a victim of human trafficking. This law contradicts itself because their main focus is to prosecute those in prostitution; does the government want to prosecute people involved in prostitution or not?

It is important that with new laws and important information being proposed that we, as voters, do our homework because the decisions that we make will affect us in the future.

Proposition 35 seems like a great plan on the outside but it comes with a lot of loopholes. Do your homework, check the background, and vote because every voice counts and your vote matters!

Vote no on Proposition 35.

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