S. 2991 would codify and expand the Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Center for Countering Human Trafficking (CCHT) within Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). CCHT is responsible for coordinating DHS efforts to combat human trafficking through law enforcement efforts and victim assistance programs. The bill would require DHS to ensure CCHT is staffed with at least 45 employees in various positions, subject to the availability of appropriated funds.
S. 2991 also would require that the director of CCHT develop a strategy to improve the effectiveness of its programs and to report to the Congress within one year of enactment about legislation that would be needed to facilitate an end to human trafficking. Finally, the bill would allow DHS to transfer any other department resources dedicated to combatting human trafficking to CCHT.
S. 2991 would authorize $14 million to carry out the bill’s requirements. CCHT currently has 21 full-time employees funded by ICE. Furthermore, DHS has seven additional employees dedicated to combatting human trafficking, for a total of 28 full-time department employees that would be allocated to the expanded CCHT under the bill. Using information from ICE about the cost of similar programs, and assuming S. 2991 is enacted in mid-fiscal year 2022, CBO estimates it would cost approximately $1 million in 2022 and between $4 million and $5 million each year thereafter above current funding amounts for DHS activities to counter human trafficking to hire the remaining 17 employees and implement the other requirements of the bill. In total, CBO estimates the agency would require $18 million over the 2022-2026 period to implement S. 2991, or $4 million more than the authorized amount. Such spending would be subject to the availability of appropriated funds.