Sinema-Backed Bipartisan Bill Empowers Survivors of Human Trafficking

Apr 7, 2021

Senators’ legislation empowers human trafficking survivors to pursue justice and rebuild their lives

WASHINGTON – Arizona senior Senator Kyrsten Sinema cosponsored the bipartisan Human Trafficking Survivor Tax Relief Act—legislation helping survivors of human trafficking get back on their feet by exempting their restitution from federal taxes.
“We’re protecting survivors of human trafficking from harmful, unnecessary federal taxes to support them as they seek justice and help them get back on their feet,” said Sinema.
Currently, civil damages and restitution awarded to human trafficking victims are considered taxable income. The bipartisan Human Trafficking Survivor Tax Relief Act, introduced by Republican Senator John Cornyn (TX) and Democratic Senator Ron Wyden (OR), fixes this by exempting civil damages, restitution, and any monetary award given to survivors from federal income taxes. The legislation allows survivors to pursue justice and rebuild their lives without worry of a bill from the IRS.  
Last year, Sinema applauded grant funding from the U.S. Department of Justice for four Arizona organizations that support Arizona survivors of human trafficking. The U.S. Department of Justice awarded Housing Assistance Grants to Arizona’s New Life Center, Chicanos Por La Causa, and Maggie’s Place. The Housing Assistance Grants provide six to 24 months of transitional or short-term housing assistance for trafficking survivors, including rental, utilities or related expenses, such as security deposits and relocation costs. The grants will also provide funding for support needed to help victims locate permanent housing, secure employment, and receive occupational training and counseling. The Department of Justice also awarded Services for Victims of Human Trafficking grants to Chicanos Por La Causa and Arizona Youth Partnership to help fund support services for human trafficking survivors.