Monday, February 25, 2008

Human Trafficking to Be a Felony Crime in New Mexico

From the Alamogordo Daily News:

SANTA FE- Human trafficking will be a felony crime in New Mexico under a new law taking effect in July. Governor Bill Richardson signed the crime legislation into law on Friday in Las Cruces. New Mexico was the only border state without a separate crime against human trafficking.

''Human trafficking must be outlawed, human beings should not be treated as property and detained against their will,'' Richardson said in a statement. Attorney General Gary King pushed for the human trafficking legislation, which was sponsored by Sen. Mary Jane Garcia, D-Dona Ana.

Proponents said the new law was needed to prevent New Mexico from becoming a corridor for what often is described as modern-day slavery, in which victims are lured into exploitative jobs or the sex trade and held against their will.

Under the new law, human trafficking will be a third-degree felony, which is punishable by three years in prison. If the victim is under 13, it will be a first-degree felony, which can be punished by a prison term of up to 18 years. If the victim is 13 to 15 years-old, it will be a second-degree felony, which has a basic sentence of up to nine years in prison.

Read the full article

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