President Donald Trump signed H.R. 1865, the Allow States and Victims to Fight Online Sex Trafficking Act (FOSTA), on Wednesday.
The bipartisan anti-human trafficking bill was passed by both houses of Congress before landing on Trump’s desk. In the signing ceremony, Trump was surrounded by his daughter Ivanka, several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle, and survivors of human trafficking. The bill “amends the Communications Act of 1934 to create an exception for sex trafficking, making it easier to target websites with legal action for enabling such crimes” and “provides new legal recourse for victims and law enforcement alike.”
“Thank you very much for being with us today as we sign this crucial legislation to combat online sex trafficking and bring criminals to justice,” said Trump during the ceremony. “And the people behind me have been working on this long and hard. That’s political, as well as some of our great citizens. And we appreciate it.”
He continued: “Most importantly, I want to thank the survivors and families who join us today. I’m signing this bill in your honor. And we are all together, politicians, both Republican and Democrat, signing this and representing this to you in your honor. So thank you all very much. We very much appreciate it. You’re very brave.”
Trump praised the courage of survivors and emphasized their role in getting the bill passed. “You’ve endured what no person on Earth should ever have to endure, and we are going to do everything in our power to make sure that traffickers are brought to a swift and firm justice,” he said. “And I’ve heard statistics where trafficking in the world is more now than it ever has been ever in the history of the world. And you wouldn’t believe that with, you know, modern-day everything. But they use modern-day better than law enforcement can use modern-day, whether it’s the Internet or anything else.”
He added, “So I want to thank you for your courage, and thank you for helping survivors across our country. And you are not alone. You are not alone. And this is a very important day. If we work together, we can get the criminal traffickers off our streets and off of the internet. We can bring safety and hope to every community across the country, and we can create a culture that respects the dignity of every child of God.”
Watch the signing ceremony below: