New antislavery law may be wrongheaded

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Here's an arresting allegation: More slaves are now imported (though the current word for this is trafficked) into the United States annually than were imported in an average year during the American colonial era.

That is one of the talking points used lately by the author of an arresting new book on global slavery, "A Crime So Monstrous: Face-to-Face with Modern-Day Slavery," by E. Benjamin Skinner.

In fact, of course, at the height of the legal slave trade in the 19th century, many more African slaves were "trafficked" to the United States than are arriving now, but globally there may be more people in slavery than ever. Still, it comes as a shock to read Skinner's accounts of the people - the U.S. State Department estimates 600,000 to 800,000 brought across international borders each year - forced to work around the world under threat of violence for no pay.

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