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In the Trump administration's ongoing fight against human trafficking, Attorney General Bill Barr teamed up with Ivanka Trump and Tim Tebow to announce an additional $100 million for task forces, victim services, and victim housing.
The announcement, made Monday in Atlanta, adds to the funds the administration had already offered in August, which was $35 million in grants to be issued by the Department of Justice. That sum was intended to go directly to help victims attain secure housing.
Tim Tebow spoke at the announcement, on behalf of the Tim Tebow Foundation, said "we have to live with a sense of urgency to be able to rescue as many lives as possible." His foundation has an international mission of aid and assistance for survivors of human trafficking, and helps to combat its continuance.
The origins of his foundation speak directly to the issue. He said that "The reason we got into this was because eight years ago my dad was preaching in a remote country and there were four girls that he was next to that were being sold.
"And he took out all the money out of his wallet, which was $1,250, and he bought those four girls. And then he called me and said 'I just bought four girls and not really sure what to do now.' And I said 'that's ok dad. We've got your back.'"
"This is one of the top enforcement priorities of the department," Barr said, "and we're on the forefront of this fight."
He said that "It's only by cooperating with all our partners, our state and local partners and those in the private sector that we're going to be able to make any progress and ultimately end the victimization of those boys and girls."
Operation Not Forgotten and Operation Safety Net are two of those whose efforts have been bolstered by the additional funds. These initiatives seek to put an end to human trafficking, to find missing and exploited children, and to help those whose lives have been impacted by this horrifying practice.
The announcement being made in Atlanta, Geo., was no mistake. As Barr said, "the governor and the first lady here have been second to none in the nation in taking this fight on and working closely with the federal government and I really appreciate that."
Chris Carr, Georgia's AG, endorsed the allocation of these funds, saying that "it means safety and it means security and it means wraparound services."
Ivanka Trump appeared with Barr as well, after conducting a tour of the Georgia Center for Child Advocacy, which is a nonprofit agency dedicated to helping abused children attain the services they need to lead productive lives. Foster children are also served by the center, to help with the transition between being in care and being on their own.
Amy Shipp, a family advocate at the center, said that "Some of our families have such basic needs that need to be met, that the fact that their child has experienced this trauma is not even the highest on their list right now."
Ivanka Trump said that the president "is committed to combating this crime, committed to bringing justice to the victims, to their families, and committed to holistic healing that is so necessary for the brave survivors."