Human trafficking has increased in New Mexico over the last 5 years, with at least 144 reported cases, according to the National Human Trafficking Hotline.
Las Cruces Democratic Representative Angelica Rubio introduced a bill that would fund research on human trafficking.
"There is a significant amount of human trafficking, but the question is mostly around how much worse it’s going to get," she said.
People who are trafficked might be in the country illegally, and they often experience trauma that could require special treatment. But some housing programs might turn them away for those reasons.
The proposal would allocate $75,000 to create a task force to study how to improve housing options for survivors.
Members of the House Health and Human Services Committee are expected to review the measure Friday, Feb. 2.
KUNM’s Public Health New Mexico project is funded by the W.K. Kellogg Foundation, the McCune Charitable Foundation, and the Con Alma Health Foundation.