Associated Press - March 22, 2011 6:05 PM ET
HOUSTON (AP) - Gov. Rick Perry and other Texas officials are promoting legislation to toughen state penalties for human trafficking.
Perry attended a Tuesday news conference in Houston with state Sen. Leticia Van de Putte of San Antonio, state Rep. Senfronia Thompson of Houston and Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott. He said the legislation is needed to show the state won't tolerate this "horrific crime."
The legislation would amend trafficking laws in several ways, including making life sentences automatic for repeat offenders and providing civil remedies against traffickers.
Advocacy groups say Texas is a hotbed for such crimes because of its location and large migrant work force.
The legislation is to be voted on in the Texas Senate on Wednesday. If approved, it would then go to the House.