WASHINGTON, D.C. – A controversial new addendum to the Trump administration’s ‘zero-tolerance’ immigration policy is legal under the 13th Amendment, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions announced on Thursday. Known as the Freedom Through Labor Act, the White House’s latest initiative allows detainees as young as eleven to serve as involuntary workers in lieu of deportation to their country of origin.
“Our constitution states very clearly that involuntary servitude is an accepted form of criminal punishment and therefore well within the confines of the law,” Attorney General Jeff Sessions explained while speaking at an event hosted by Charles Peeler, the U.S. attorney for the Middle District of Georgia. “They’ll tell you they came here to work,” said Sessions – referring to migrants caught trying to enter the United States illegally. “Well,” the attorney general chuckled, “we’ll put ’em to work.”
Trump senior policy adviser Stephen Miller told Real News Right Now that the Freedom Through Labor Act was designed as a “two-pronged strategy” aimed at speeding up construction of Trump’s border wall while simultaneously helping to rebuild the nation’s ailing infrastructure. “Anytime you have a project that employs a traditional workforce, you as an employer are required by law to pay that workforce a minimum wage,” Miller explained, continuing, “This initiative removes that aspect entirely and, in doing so, saves American taxpayers a heck of a lot of money.”
Spearheaded by the Department of Homeland Security, the Freedom Through Labor Act is scheduled to go into effect on August 31st, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders confirmed on Friday. “Obviously the president wants to get this up and running as soon as possible,” Sanders told reporters, adding that Homeland Security officials will “have their pick of the litter” from ICE detention centers in several border states including Texas, New Mexico, and Arizona. “We’d like to see significant progress made on the border wall before we begin to address the problems facing America’s infrastructure,” Sanders said.
Senator Bernie Sanders (D-Vt), a self-described ‘democratic socialist’, blasted the Trump administration’s Freedom Through Labor Act during an appearance on MSNBC this week, saying the initiative “amounts to nothing short of slavery.” However, under the terms outlined in the act, the length of time detainees are required to work is based on the criminal penalties associated with unlawful entry into the United States. “We’re talking about a servitude lasting anywhere from six months to a decade,” Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) told Fox News. “After that, they’re free to return to their own countries.” Graham later pointed out that “slavery was outlawed in this country following the War of Northern Aggression.”