Part of Senator Plummer’s Work to Combat Human Trafficking
Illinois now has another tool to help victims of human trafficking move forward and establish a new life. House Bill 2418, co-sponsored by State Senator Jason Plummer (R-Edwardsville), will help victims to expunge criminal records of crimes they were forced to take part in.
“This legislation will help victims to recover as they attempt to establish a new life far away from their past trauma,” said Sen. Plummer. “This is an important step in our ongoing efforts to combat human trafficking and to help victims recover.”
House Bill 2418 allows victims of human trafficking to petition for expungement, vacation, or immediate sealing of offenses that were committed because of their victimization by traffickers. To avoid undue hardship or potential risks of harm, the new law also allows victims to utilize remote hearings. Also included is a provision allowing for the sealing of the petitions in situations where the filing of the petition would expose the victim to future harm.
Fighting human trafficking has been a long-term focus for Senator Plummer, as he has co-sponsored several bills dealing with the issue, including a comprehensive Human Trafficking Omnibus that involved the input and participation from prosecutors, international anti-trafficking organizations, law enforcement, and others from across the country. The Omnibus, unfortunately, has been held up in Springfield because it enhances penalties on the traffickers who victimize these vulnerable victims and, for some backwards reason, the majority party in Springfield seems intent on not advancing legislation that enhances penalties on criminals, including the worst of the worst like human traffickers. Senator Plummer has also been diligent in bringing to light potential issues with seemingly unrelated bills that would threaten efforts to combat trafficking or help victims.
“It’s an honor to see this legislation become law,” said Senator Plummer. “But there is still a tremendous amount of more work to be done to bring justice to victims of human trafficking and hold their abusers accountable. Right now, the State of Illinois is failing the victims of human trafficking and we must do better.”