Former President Donald Trump on Friday vowed to pursue the death penalty for human traffickers and to revive a now-defunct immigration measure to combat child trafficking, if he’s 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 home countries, without delay,’ Trump said in a new campaign video posted on social media. ‘And I will urge Congress to ensure that anyone caught trafficking children across our border receives the death penalty immediately.’
The Title 42 public health order was implemented by the Trump administration, allowing border officials to expel migrants without granting them an asylum hearing in order to limit the spread of COVID-19. Biden rescinded the policy earlier this year.
Trump, the frontrunner in the 2024 Republican presidential primary, touted his record as president for improving the security of the southern border and lambasted the Biden administration for overseeing a surge of illegal immigration into the U.S.
‘When I’m back in the White House, I will immediately end the Biden border nightmare that traffickers are using to exploit vulnerable women and children,’ said Trump. ‘We will fully secure the border. I will wage war on the cartels just as I destroyed the ISIS caliphate, 100% gone, 100% destroyed.’
Trump’s comments came after he hosted a screening of the hit film ‘Sound of Freedom’ at his golf course in Bedminster, New Jersey, this week. He promoted and encouraged others to see the movie, which chronicles former Homeland Security agent Tim Ballard’s efforts to rescue trafficked children. Ballard, his wife, producer Eduardo Verastegui, and lead actor Jim Caviezel all attended the screening.
While the film has enjoyed success at the box office, some liberal media outlets derided the project as associated with QAnon, a right-wing community that has been accused of buying into fringe conspiracy theories. The movie has sparked discussions about the prevalence of human trafficking in the U.S. and other countries and what can be done to combat it.
‘Under my leadership we did more than any other administration in history to combat human trafficking and to end modern-day slavery,’ said Trump, who cited relevant executive orders and legislation he signed, such as the Frederick Douglass Trafficking Victims Prevention and Protection Re-authorization Act and the Abolish Human Trafficking Act. ‘Together we will end the scourge of human trafficking, and we will defend the dignity of human life.’
Trump’s latest campaign proposal for human traffickers came about a month after he advocated for imposing the death penalty on convicted drug dealers, during an interview with Fox News.