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Texas House Passes Human Trafficking Bill

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Escorts help illegal migrants get into a truck. (credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

Escorts help illegal migrants get into a truck. (credit: PHILIPPE HUGUEN/AFP/Getty Images)

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AUSTIN (AP) – People convicted of human trafficking would face tougher penalties under legislation that has passed the Texas House.

The bill makes it a felony to force children into prostitution, extends the statute of limitations for trafficking crimes and requires anyone convicted of sex trafficking to register as a sex offender.

The legislation also makes life sentences automatic for repeat offenders and creates separate definitions for sex trafficking and labor trafficking. Children who have been forced into prostitution will be allowed certain provisions similar to sexual assault cases under the Texas law. The bill, which has widespread support, faces a final procedural hurdle before being sent to Gov. Rick Perry, who has indicated he will sign it.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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