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Daniels signs new penalties for sex trafficking

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Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels signed a law Monday giving prosecutors more tools to battle human sex trafficking ahead of this weekend's Super Bowl.

Daniels and other state leaders have said they were concerned sex traffickers would target the estimated 150,000 football fans flocking to Indianapolis for Sunday's football championship. They cited increased levels of prostitution that have accompanied many major sports events around the country.

"This puts up the 'Don't Try It Here' sign in Indiana," Daniels said before signing the measure into law.

Prosecutors and other supporters say the bill would make it easier to prosecute sex trafficking cases involving victims younger than 16 and broaden the law for cases with older victims. The bill makes recruiting, transporting or harboring anyone younger than 16 for prostitution a felony punishable by 20 years to 50 years in prison.

The measure won unanimous support in the House and Senate and was the first bill signed by Daniels this year.

"Today we close loopholes in Indiana law so our police and prosecutors have the legal tools they need to crack down on those who traffic young victims in a growing area of criminal enterprise that is considered a modern form of human slavery," Attorney General Greg Zoeller said in a statement.

Indiana State Police Superintendent Paul Whitesell said there are 30 state troopers already working on the problem in the city, although he said he did not want to disclose their tactics or the state's strategy.

"There is a significant number of law enforcement looking for these people," Whitesell said.

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  1. Those of you yelling to deport them all should at least understand that the law allows minors (if not from a bordering country) to argue for asylum. If you don't like the law, you can petition Congress to change it. But you can't blindly scream that they all need to be deported now, unless you want your government to just decide which laws to follow and which to ignore.

  2. 52,000 children in a country with a population of nearly 300 million is decimal dust or a nano-amount of people that can be easily absorbed. In addition, the flow of children from central American countries is decreasing. BL - the country can easily absorb these children while at the same time trying to discourage more children from coming. There is tension between economic concerns and the values of Judeo-Christian believers. But, I cannot see how the economic argument can stand up against the values of the believers, which most people in this country espouse (but perhaps don't practice). The Governor, who is an alleged religious man and a family man, seems to favor the economic argument; I do not see how his position is tenable under the circumstances. Yes, this is a complicated situation made worse by politics but....these are helpless children without parents and many want to simply "ship" them back to who knows where. Where are our Hoosier hearts? I thought the term Hoosier was synonymous with hospitable.

  3. Illegal aliens. Not undocumented workers (too young anyway). I note that this article never uses the word illegal and calls them immigrants. Being married to a naturalized citizen, these people are criminals and need to be deported as soon as humanly possible. The border needs to be closed NOW.

  4. Send them back NOW.

  5. deport now

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