MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) – Sen. Amy Klobuchar and local truckers are joining forces to curb the use of big rigs in human trafficking.
The Democratic senator and local truckers spoke out Tuesday in support of her bill that would provide additional resources for truckers to recognize signs of human trafficking.
At a news conference at Dart Transportation in Eagan, law enforcement officers and trucking executives spoke about how truckers can be the first line of defense in spotting potential victims.
“I don’t know too many truckers that haven’t had this in their faces at any and every truck stop,” said Minnesota truck driver Bev Monahan.
She says she’s seen kids as young as 10 or 12 with older men and women that don’t appear to be thier relatives.
“What you are going to see is young boys and girls,” Monahan said. “It’s not just girls, that’s a misnomer.”
Klobuchar’s bill, which has bipartisan support, would provide training for truckers and would create a position for a human trafficking prevention coordinator at the U.S. Department of Transportation.
“This happens at every hour of every day at truck stops around the country in big cities and little towns,” Klobuchar said.
Her bill is also aimed at human trafficking of immigrants. Last month in San Antonio, Texas, a truck driver was arrested after 10 undocumented workers were found dead inside his truck.
While several speakers Tuesday addressed concerns about increased trafficking surrounding February’s Super Bowl in Minneapolis, Klobuchar stressed that trafficking is an everyday concern.
“What Minnesota is trying to do is trying to use this to educate the public about this beyond the Super Bowl and to make sure the Super Bowl is safe,” she said.
When asked if President Donald Trump supported her bill, Klobuchar responded by saying that she and other senators have met with the president’s daughter about the topic.
She says this issue is a priority for Ivanka Trump, who is a top aide to her father. Klobuchar says that embattled Attorney General Jeff Sessions is also on board.