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Michigan Attorney General seeks change in federal law

Human Trafficking is a worldwide problem that is felt in South Dakota.  (Image (State/VT./U.S.)
Human Trafficking is a worldwide problem that is felt in South Dakota. (Image (State/VT./U.S.)

LANSING (WKZO) -- Michigan Attorney General Bill Schuette has joined a bipartisan group of 49 other Attorneys General in urging the U.S. Congress to amend a federal law to fight human trafficking.

The letter was sent to members of Congress asking for changes in the Communications Decency Act of 1996 allowing criminal jurisdiction to state and local prosecutors.  The law was designed to protect children from indecent material online, but courts have ruled some parts of the law provide immunity from state prosecution.

Schuette points to the website Backpage.com, where prostitution solicitations earn between three-million and four-million dollars a month.  Michigan first adopted laws banning human trafficking in 2006, and later strengthened the law with tougher penalties and changes that took effect in 2011.