New Mexico Senator: Loopholes Unable To Curb Trafficking Of Tribal Items

By Carrie Jung
Published: Tuesday, October 18, 2016 - 5:21pm

A U.S. lawmaker says loopholes in federal laws have left authorities little leverage when seeking to return tribal religious items placed on sale in foreign auctions.

New Mexico Sen. Martin Heinrich made these comments at a field hearing in Albuquerque on Tuesday. The meeting brought together tribal leaders, the Senate Indian Affairs Committee and several federal agencies.

Heinrich and Arizona Sen. John McCain recently sponsored legislation in the Senate seeking to broaden the scope of a federal law designed to crack down on the looting, trafficking and exporting of federally protected Native American items.

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