DearColleague.us

Letter

From the office of:

Anthony Gonzalez

Sending Office: Honorable Anthony Gonzalez
Sent By:
Elizabeth.Barczak@mail.house.gov

Dear Colleague:

Please join us in sending a bipartisan letter to the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies in support of increased funding for child exploitation investigation resources at the Department of Justice, particularly
for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Forces. The letter also requests report language that would encourage ICAC grantees to prioritize proactive investigations that have the demonstrated potential to rescue children.  ICAC task forces assist
more than 3,000 federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies with developing effective and sustainable responses to online child exploitation crimes. As was chronicled in a series of articles by the New York Times, recent years have seen an explosion
in the amount of child sexual abuse imagery being shared online.  ICACs are overwhelmed by the number of leads they receive and require more resources in order to conduct investigations and rescue children. 

If you would like to sign on to this letter, please fill out this
form
. Thank you for your consideration, and if you have any questions, please contact
Jeremy.Whiteman@mail.house.gov (Wasserman Schultz) or Elizabeth.Barczak@mail.house.gov (Gonzalez) Please see the request letter and proposed language below.

Sincerely,

Debbie Wasserman Schultz                                                  Anthony Gonzalez

Member of Congress                                                            Member of Congress

 

Dear Chairman Serrano and Ranking Member Aderholt,

As you begin work on the FY 2021 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill, we write in support of critical funding for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force program, a national network of 61 coordinated law enforcement
task forces who investigate and prosecute those who sexually exploit children, our most vulnerable constituents.

In a series of articles published last year, the New York Times documented the explosion of child sexual abuse imagery that is trafficked on the dark corners of the internet. Technology companies reported 45 million photos and videos of children
being sexually abused in 2018, a number more than double what was reported in the previous year. Research indicates that more than half of individuals found possessing or sharing child abuse imagery are also hand-on abusers of children.

ICAC is vital in helping state and local law enforcement agencies respond to this growing and technologically challenging problem. ICAC Task Forces are engaged in both proactive and reactive investigations, forensic investigations, and criminal prosecutions.
Currently, ICAC Task Forces are overwhelmed. In 2019, ICACs received more than 107,000 documented complaints of child exploitation which resulted in over 80,000 investigations. Successful law enforcement investigations can lead to the door of a hands-on offender
or to a child in need of rescue. 

Therefore, we respectfully request the inclusion of the following programmatic and language request:

Programmatic Request:

  • Department of Justice, Office of Justice Programs – Missing and Exploited Children Programs – Internet Crimes Against Children Task Forces –
    The recommendation includes $105,000,000 for missing and exploited children programs. The Committee expects the Department to allocate no less than $60,000,000, as authorized under Public Law 110-401, for task force grants, training and technical assistance,
    research and statistics, and administrative costs for the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) program.

Language Request:

The Department is directed to include in its ICAC Task Force grant solicitation a prioritization of proactive investigations of suspects possessing, distributing, or producing violent and sadistic child sexual abuse imageryThe
Committee also encourages the Department to encourage ICAC grantees to dedicate increased efforts to proactive investigations, which have demonstrated potential to rescue children.

We appreciate your consideration of these requests and look forward to working with you as the FY 21 Commerce, Justice, Science, and Related Agencies Appropriations bill takes shape. 

                                                            Sincerely,

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