UPDATED 1:01 PM PT — Wednesday, January 9, 2019
President Trump is ramping up efforts to combat human trafficking through a bill he signed into law Wednesday.
During the signing ceremony at the Oval Office, the president described human trafficking as as menace, which cannot be defeated without border security.
He pointed out this bill is the forth piece of legislation he has signed on the issue since taking office.
The new law will grant the State Department more funding for its annual human trafficking report, which monitors efforts being made to combat the global crisis.
Despite ongoing efforts, the president suggested a wall will substantially help stop the practice domestically.
“Human trafficking cannot be stopped if we don’t have a steel barrier or a concrete wall, something very powerful — it cannot be stopped,” said President Trump. “We have the most talented law enforcement people in the world as far as I’m concerned…it doesn’t mean a thing if they’re going to be driving women and children through sections of the border where nobody is, where you can’t be because you don’t have enough man power.”
The president also said he has the right to declare a national emergency on border security, and hinted this option is still on the table.