Trump to sign executive order combating human trafficking

President Trump will sign an executive order on Friday meant to combat human trafficking and online child exploitation, including by adding a new position at the White House to focus on the issue.

White House Domestic Policy Council Director Joe Grogan said Friday that the new executive order establishes a position in the White House domestic policy office “solely devoted” to work on combating human trafficking.

“This is an all-of-government approach with a number of agencies involved,” Grogan said. “Having someone established here in the White House who can coordinate on all these activities is going to really give us a leg up in combating human trafficking.”

Trump is slated to deliver remarks at a summit on human trafficking in the East Room of the White House Friday afternoon recognizing the 20th anniversary of the Trafficking Victims Protection Act.

Grogan recognized the work of Ivanka Trump, the president’s daughter and senior adviser, on the subject.

“The president has been focused on this since he came into office and I would note that Ivanka Trump has been a true leader on this and a great partner to work on these issues,” Grogan said. “Her focus has really elevated this nationally and within the White House.”

The White House has not yet chosen who will fill the new position established by the executive order.

Grogan said the event about the issue would include a “broad group” of attendees, including Ivanka Trump, Vice President Pence, Attorney General William Barr, trafficking survivors, representatives from tribal and local governments and law enforcement.

However, The Washington Post reported Thursday that some prominent anti-trafficking organizations are expected to boycott the event over the administration’s immigration policies, which they believe have neglected immigrant victims of human trafficking. Critics have pointed to the administration’s increased scrutiny of those applying for T visas, which are given to victims of trafficking.

A senior administration official said Friday that some of the data with respect to the relationship between immigration and T visas had been “misrepresented” and emphasized that the administration is “fully committed to fighting this internationally and domestically.”

The official also said there would be no change in policy with respect to the administration’s handling of T visas.

The executive order Trump will sign on Friday also directs the State Department to create a website to organize the federal government’s resources on human trafficking. The administration hopes the website will serve as a resource for the public, especially victims and law enforcement, a senior administration official said.

The order also directs various agencies to improve the methodology used to determine the prevalence of human trafficking in the United States; improve intelligence sharing related to human trafficking cases; and develop a proposal to address the sharing of exploitative images of children online in real time.

Tags Donald Trump Executive Order Human trafficking Ivanka Trump Mike Pence William Barr

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