Former President Donald Trump vowed Friday to pursue the death penalty for human traffickers and revive a now-defunct immigration initiative to combat child trafficking if he is re-elected to the White House.
“I will use Title 42 to end the child trafficking crisis by returning all trafficked children to their families in their countries of origin,” Trump said in a new campaign video posted on social media. “And I will urge Congress to ensure that anyone caught smuggling children across our border is immediately put to death.”
The Title 42 public health order was enacted by the Trump administration, allowing border officials to remove refugees without asylum to limit the spread of COVID-19. Biden rescinded the policy earlier this year.
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Trump, the front-runner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, touted his record as president to improve security on the southern border and criticized the Biden administration for overseeing a surge in illegal immigration to the United States.
“When I return to the White House, I will immediately end Biden’s border nightmare that traffickers are using to exploit vulnerable women and children,” Trump said. “We will fully secure the border. I will fight the cartels the same way I destroyed the ISIS caliphate, 100% eliminated, 100% destroyed.”
Trump’s comments came this week after a screening of the hit movie “Sound of Freedom” at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey. He inspired and inspired others to watch the film, which chronicles former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard’s efforts to rescue trafficked children. Ballard, his wife, producer Eduardo Verrastigui, and lead actor Jim Caviezel all attended the screening.
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While the film has been a box office success, some liberal media outlets derided the project as QAnon, a right-wing community accused of buying into conspiracy theories. The film has sparked debate in the United States and other countries about the prevalence of human trafficking and what can be done to combat it.
“Under my leadership we have done more than any other administration in history to combat human trafficking and end modern-day slavery,” Trump said, citing related executive orders and legislation he signed, such as the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Re-authorization Act and the end of Trafficman. “Together we will end the scourge of human trafficking, and we will defend the dignity of human life.”
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Trump’s latest campaign proposal for human traffickers comes nearly a month after he advocated the death penalty for drug offenders during an interview with Fox News.