Journalism

Is Trump the antitrafficking president he says he is?

This podcast was originally published by Here & There on August 8th, 2019, by Fuller Project Correspondent Jenna Krajeski. 

Listen to the podcast here

The quintessence of Donald Trump, as dissected in Pulitzer Prize-winning style by Washington Post Investigative reporter David Fahrenthold, was the Trump Foundation. Ostensibly, ostentatiously, an expression of charitable intent, it was, rather, a slush fund made up almost entirely of other people’s money, used to pay off politicians and purchase Trump portraits. Hypocrisy at its most brazen.

A policy parallel to the faux-charity of the Trump Foundation is the faux-hope Trump is always offering to the victims of human trafficking. “Our country will not rest,” the president promised, “until we have put these vile [trafficking] organizations out of business and rescued every last victim.”

Doubt Trump’s sincerity? Consider this – In 2017, he declared January 2018 National Slavery and Human-Trafficking Prevention Month and in October 2018, he was the first president to address an interagency task-force meeting on trafficking.

Behind the façade of these fine words, and ceremonial deeds, these facts – in that same year, 2018, Justice Department investigations of trafficking declined by 16%, protections once offered under the Federal Trafficking Victims Prevention Act to LGBT-Q people – known to be at high risk for trafficking – were withdrawn, and many documented victims of trafficking are now being threatened with deportation or prison by being reframed as illegal immigrants or even alleged abettors of terrorism.

 

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