A group of New York State lawmakers want to make prostitution legal.
State Senators Jessica Ramos and Julia Salazar said in a New York Daily News op-ed that most people who work in the sex trade do so to pay bills and put food on the table.
The lawmakers write, “People often turn to sex work after a life event such as a major health-care bill leaves them economically vulnerable. LGBTQ, black and brown, immigrant and disabled communities engage in sex work at higher rates because they are locked out of jobs in the formal economy.”
They add most of the people who are arrested in massage parlor raids are undocumented immigrants.
The senators say they are working to introduce new legislation that will rewrite state laws on prostitution and erase past arrests from criminal records.
As of Tuesday evening, there is no bill on the table to de-criminalize prostitution in New York State.